"I am now constantly inspired by all the kids that I have met through working on this program."
Asa Schaeffer recognizes that every child can benefit from team sports, but many children with special needs are never afforded the chance. To address this issue in his community, he organized a Challenger Baseball league, where players who have physical or developmental disabilities are paired with Little League players, aka “buddies.” Asa acts as an ambassador for the program, taking on the role of coordinator, liaison, and promoter. In six years, the Santa Cruz Challenger Baseball league has had approximately 65 players, 250 “buddies,” and 100 coaches and community member volunteers. The program is supported by the Santa Cruz Little League, the local high schools, and has raised $5,900.