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Esurance and Minor League Baseball Reveal Winners of Rising Star Students Program

Checks to Be Presented to Students During On-Field Ceremonies

/ -- ST. PETERSBURG, FL and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - August 23, 2016) - Esurance and Minor League Baseball (MiLB) today named the Esurance Rising Star Students program winners. Winners include notable high school students who are part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS) mentor program and are getting ready for their next level, college.

Each Rising Star Student recipient will be presented with a $5,000 check from Esurance for college expenses during an on-field ceremony at his or her local Minor League Baseball park in the coming weeks. Representatives from Esurance, the local BBBS chapter and the MiLB team will be on hand to make the presentations.

The winners, their respective BBBS agencies and the Minor League Baseball teams that will recognize them are as follows:

  • Alexandra Azar, BBBS of Central New Mexico (Albuquerque Isotopes)
  • Alyssa Williams, BBBS of Berks County (Reading Fightin Phils)
  • Ashley Thompson, BBBS of Greater Birmingham (Birmingham Barons)
  • Bryce Johnson, BBBS of Middle Tennessee (Nashville Sounds)
  • Elizabeth Cook, BBBS of the Central Piedmont (Greensboro Grasshoppers)
  • Hazel Waiters, BBBS of Greater Sacramento (Sacramento River Cats)
  • James W. Sanders IV, BBBS of El Paso (El Paso Chihuahuas)
  • Jaylon Vaughn, BBBS of Central Texas (Round Rock Express)
  • Katie Ertel, BBBS of Lackawanna Susquehanna & Wayne Counties (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders)
  • Kelly Nguyen, BBBS of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City Dodgers)
  • Kendall Smith, BBBS of Northwestern Ohio (Toledo Mud Hens)
  • Kenzee Logue, BBBS of Utah (Salt Lake Bees)
  • Markel Pugh, BBBS of Kentuckiana (Louisville Bats)
  • Shelbi Doland, BBBS of Central Iowa (Iowa Cubs)

"The Rising Star Students program is, simply put, three notable organizations coming together to do good and make a difference in the lives of deserving young men and women," said David Wright, Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer for Minor League Baseball. "The Call-Up Worthy platform extends beyond baseball and this program enables students to pursue and accomplish their individual dreams."

Nominations for the Rising Star Students program were made in July and August by BBBS agencies. Submissions included unique and inspirational stories, academic accolades, college and career plans and more, focusing on why the individual was a "Rising Star" in his or her community. To be eligible, the nominees had to be classified as "Bigs" or "Littles" in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

"Much like our Call-Up worthy players, each Rising Star Student has a unique story to tell with a common theme -- outstanding performance in their local communities," said Cyndie Beckwith, Vice President, Marketing at Esurance. "We're honored to recognize their hard work, compassion, and leadership and wish them continued success in their college careers."

"Behind every child who achieves his or her potential, and all of these Rising Stars, there is a team rooting for them. Our Littles' Big Brothers and Big Sisters are key to helping them succeed," said Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. "Thanks to Esurance and Minor League Baseball, these Little Brothers and Little Sisters have the chance to take their education and future to the next level."

In June, Esurance and Minor League Baseball announced a strategic multi-year partnership making it the exclusive home and auto insurance partner of Minor League Baseball. To learn more about Esurance's Call-Up Worthy campaign with Minor League Baseball, visit

About Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball® clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2015, Minor League Baseball attracted 42.5 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information, visit

Follow Minor League Baseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Esurance®

Esurance, insurance for the modern world®, provides auto, homeowners, motorcycle, and renters insurance direct to consumers online, over the phone, and through select agents. With an easy-to-use mobile app, helpful online tools like photo claims and Coverage Counselor®, and knowledgeable experts available around the clock, Esurance is the smart choice for today's web-savvy consumer. And as a member of the Allstate family with an A+ rating from A.M. Best, Esurance offers auto and home insurance anytime with service just a click, call, or tap away. For more information, visit or call 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).

Follow Esurance on the Esurance Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters ensures that the children in its program achieve such measurable outcomes as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization's 111-year history. With over 300 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 170,000 children ("Littles"), their families and 170,000 volunteer mentors ("Bigs"). Learn more at

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Minor League Baseball
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