Con Edison is honoring the achievements of future athletes and role models, with the 2009 Yankee Kids Program.
Julianna Orrico, 12, has been a star player for the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League since age 7, demonstrating not only natural ability, but a strong dedication and will to succeed.
Seeing the young girl’s potential, league president, Rachel Mazza, enrolled Orrico in private pitching clinics with Julie Bolduc, renown pitching coach and owner and instructor of Julie Bolduc’s Pro Pitch, Inc.
Orrico advanced past her own age group and by age 10 was pitching to girls nearly four years older, starting each game and once boasting 16 strike outs and only 2 hits. She is also a player on the league’s selective travel team.
In addition to her baseball skills, Orrico is an altar server at St. Theresa’s Parish, located 2872 St. Theresa Avenue, and an honor student at Preparatory Academy in P.S. 71, with a grade point average of 98.23.
Still finding time to lend a hand, Orrico is the first to volunteer in clean ups, workshops, setting up for the game, or helping her peers.
“She showed a lot of talent from the beginning,” said Mazza. “It’s not only her talent, but her willingness to learn. She is just a great kid all around. Whenever we need people to volunteer she is the first one to say ‘I’ll do it.’”
Senator Jeff Klein recommended the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League for consideration, and soon after Mazza’s nomination, Orrico was awarded Con Edison’s Yankee Kid for Bronx County 2009.
“The Yankee kid program rewards hard playing little leaguers with the chance of a life time and a standard to emulate. We want to teach our kids to reach for the stars and I’m proud that I could help send a particularly worthy player to meet her heroes,” said Klein. “The Throggs Neck Girls Softball League is a shining example of the kind of organization that builds strong leaders and even stronger communities.”
Escorted by her family and Mazza, Orrico will attend a reception on Friday, May 15, and watch the Yankees in action, giving her a chance to see her favorite player, Derek Jeter. Winners also receive a $ 500 U.S. Savings Bond and jacket.
“When my mom told me I won I was so excited. I get to go to the stadium and see the dugout and watch the game,” said Orrico. “It’s great to know that when you practice for so long it really pays off and it feels really good.”