Over 700 student/athlete High School graduates have been placed in Colleges nationwide, on a combination of academic, athletic & financial aid scholarships.
Alumni in Professional Baseball
To date, 78 YSL alumni have played professional baseball, of which 29 have made it to the major leagues, including current big leaguers Dellin Betances (Yankees) & Adam Ottavino (Rockies)
Youth enrollment numbers have more than tripled the past 20 years.
YSL is all-volunteer, with no salaried employees. Current number of volunteers is in excess of 60, most of whom are either ex-players, come back to give as was given them in their youth, or parents who have now, or who used to have a child (or children) in the YSL program.
YSL is a New York area-wide Organization. We have several athletic, academic, counseling, and college scholarship placement programs in place for our mostly economically disadvantaged inner-city youngsters. We operate under the umbrella term: delinquency prevention program. However, we are an on-going Program, and thus do not have any "new" programs. Having said that, we keep improving our programs, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in order to be as relevant as possible to our youth enrollment, and to be the best we can be at what we do.
The last several years, our fundraising (letter and proposal writing) has averaged in the $125,000 - $175,000 range. In 2017, due to increased costs with our ballfield expenses, our goal is to raise a minimum of $200,000, with a goal of $250,000. This hope for increase is predicated upon more effective fundraising research, and an increased soliciting of support from YSL Alumni. In addition, YSL has taken over the maintenance of the Kings County American Legion ballfields, in Brooklyn. This year, expenses include continuing to expand the ballfields by building a new tee-ball field (our 7th field to be), normal maintenance costs, repairing fences, and buying new field equipment.
I take time out from my so busy life to thank the Zitters for everything that they have done for me and for the rest of the gang that came thru the YSL program. I send my condolences to Mel and his family for the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Zitter. Mel, has always been hard on us and expected perfection at all times. Because of that, a lot of former players don't know how to express their gratitude towards him. I know that the Manny Ramirez, Alex Arias, and Shawon Dunstons of the world go every day thinking how those long hours in Ditmas JHS helped them become the citizens that they are today. Like the late Jim Valvano always said," don't give up, don't ever give up!" Thank you, Mel, for teaching me not to give up when I could have easily done so. .
Benny Castillo, graduated 1987
I can honestly say that Youth Service is so far the best thing that has happened to me. It has giving me a chance to succeed in life, not only in sports, but in the real world. So if you want to attempt to be somebody, and you are part of YSL, I would say you are in the right program..