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4/3/2014 12:15 P.M. ET

Forty-four Boys & Girls Clubs of America members named recipients of the annual Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship Program

Major League Baseball announced today that 44 Boys & Girls Clubs of America members have been chosen to receive The Dreamchaser Scholarship, presented annually by the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation. The scholarship annually provides support for up to 44 Club members who exhibit extraordinary talent in any field, including athletics, music, dance, the arts, science, literature and more.

The Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship Program, supported exclusively through contributions from MLB, provides an endowment that annually distributes 44 grants in honor of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron's legendary jersey number. Awards of up to $2,500 are granted to club members each year, with the specific amount of years determined by the nominee's development plan, as created by his or her local Boys & Girls Club. Based upon each recipient's individual needs to further pursue his or her dreams, awards may be renewed each year until the recipient graduates from high school. The scholarship is awarded to Club members in grades 5 through 10, providing sufficient time to develop their skills or talents before graduation.

"Major League Baseball is committed to programs that lead to the positive development of young people, both on and off the field," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We proudly support the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream scholarships and the program's devotion to well-rounded individuals at vital formative stages of their lives. In this 60th anniversary of the Major League debut of my friend, Hank Aaron, it is an honor to congratulate these 44 young men and women and wish them well as they pursue their dreams."

"I am very proud of the Chasing the Dream program and everything it has done to support talented young men and women from Boys & Girls Clubs of America," said Hank Aaron, Hall of Famer and Senior Vice President of the Atlanta Braves. "On behalf of me and my wife, Billye, we congratulate all of this year's recipients and wish them the best of luck as they work toward accomplishing their goals and achieving success in what they love to do."

Established by Hank and Billye Aaron, the scholarship is intended to help young people who are faced with limited financial capabilities develop their distinct skills and pursue their dreams. Boys & Girls Clubs of America excel at assisting its members to develop their talents and abilities. Certain members, through their work with the Club, begin to exhibit extraordinary talent in a particular field. However, because of economic or other circumstances, these members may not have the resources to access the training and growth needed to advance them to the next level.

"Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to creating a Great Future for all members that attend a Club, but a future must start with a dream. We are so thankful that Hank and Billye are so committed to making kids' dreams come true," said Frank Sanchez, National Vice President, Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Among the 44 elected to receive a scholarship, 29 are female and 15 are male. The group hails from 20 states across the country. Some of the disciplines for which scholarships were awarded include baseball, marine biology, engineering, veterinary medicine, aviation, music and golf.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.