NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation has provided needed funding to the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas Baseball Explorers. The Explorers is the most successful sports program for juvenile offenders and under privileged children in the US Virgin Islands.
The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation was founded by science philanthropist, Jeffrey Epstein in 2000. The foundation supports scientific research around the world and financed the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University with a $30 million dollar grant. The foundation has since expanded to support education and youth initiatives throughout the US and the US Virgin Islands.
The Explorers has a compelling background. It was founded in the early 1990's by the juvenile criminal courts in St. Thomas to guide juvenile offenders. Headed by Michael Bute, their director and a regular umpire for the Little League World Series, the St. Thomas Explorers utilizes sports as a means of empowerment and discipline. "The Explorers focuses on the development of baseball skills to improve the physical and academic skill of youth," Bute said.
The Explorers have several divisions: a 10 and Under division, a 12 and Under team, a 14 and Under team and 18 and Under team. All of the teams compete locally and across the United States and have amassed an impressive record of championships.
Recently, the 12 and Under team clinched the championship in the Hang Ten Tournament, part of the Cal Ripken Tournament. The 14 and Under team obtained third place. In the past year, the Explorers sent two teams to Disney's Turn Back the Clock Youth Baseball Tournament at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and participated in the Little League World Series, the world's largest organized youth sports program.
"The Explorers are a stellar example of how inspiring the young can propel them into a life of purpose and success," Jeffrey Epstein noted, whose foundation has backed numerous education initiatives. Jeffrey Epstein is a former member of Rockefeller University, the New York Academy of Science, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard University.