DENVER -- Baseball is life for Josh Kates, but within the game he loves is a division he hates.
“I just want to help people," 16-year-old Kates said. “I’m really seeing how the opportunities aren’t fair. It doesn’t matter how good you are at baseball, it matters how much money you spend.”
Josh noticed – specifically – that Black kids don't have the same access to baseball that he did growing up.
Now he’s making a difference.
“I’ve been getting to collect donations and equipment,” he said. "I really just want to distribute resources where they’re needed the most.”
He created "Equality at the Plate,” his own nonprofit dedicated to equity.
“[We gather] equipment to play, money for registration fees, money for travel,” said Kates. “I want to bring equal opportunities to baseball.”
This summer project is already making an impression with local high school coaches.
“When I was 16, I was at home playing video games. It’s crazy to think that a 16-year-old is doing what he’s doing in that short amount of time,” says Andrew Buxton, the head baseball coach at Sierra High School. “It's just phenomenal."
“It’s a game changer honestly,” says Max Cupp, the head baseball coach at Harrison High School. “It will help us to provide kids who haven’t had the access and the opportunity a chance to decide if they want to play or not. That's all we're really asking for you know."
Starting small, Kates hopes his story inspires others to create change in their own communities.
“Don’t try and change the entire country, focus on changing your community,” said Kates. “We don’t think about small change as much as we should, we think about big change. And if we all focus on the small things, the big things will happen.”