This post is to highlight an athlete of your university that excelled as an athlete and as given back to the community.
I've written about former Red Raider before, RB Baron Batch, last summer, in fact, as to why he was one of my favorite players:
And my thought that Batch is one of my all-time favorite players isn't to say that Batch is infallible. I'm sure that he would be the first to admit that he isn't perfect and although I've never talked to Batch, I'd guess that he might be a little uncomfortable being the singular person on this list. Perhaps that's what drives home the point even more, it's that Batch is humble in the best possible way and in collegiate sports-world where it's all about style over substance, Batch is the antithesis of that.
A lot has happened to Baron since the last time I checked in with him. Baron traveled back to Haiti, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, hurt his knee in training camp, and is rehabbing that knee while still trying to make a difference in some small corner of the world. You can read about Baron's exploits at his blog and as most of you know, it's worth the read.
Baron is an accomplished fellow and in addition to being an athlete, he's also a gifted photographer and rather than just rely on his athletic ability, he's trying to put to good use his talent for photography. After Baron graduated, he started a non-profit called 2nd Hand Images and I'll let Baron talk about the mission statement of his non-profit:
Our mission is to allow people to see first, act second and provide a direct and creative way for people to help others. By purchasing a print available on our website, you are not simply investing in a beautiful piece of art, you are directly contributing to the cause represented therein.
The premise is that Baron travels to places that we might not think about, takes incredible photographs, sells the photographs and in doing so, he tries and help those people that don't have as much as you or me. In fact, 2nd Hand Images has a handy video to explain:
As most of you know, my wife and I are adopting a child from Ethiopia. He is a beautiful 17 month old boy, Fitsum, and after almost two years of waiting, we will be embarking on our final journey to go pick him up on Saturday. We traveled to Ethiopia in June to meet Fitsum the first time and we were there for a week. Not only did we meet our child, I personally saw what it meant to have nothing. The images that Baron has captured were all to similar to the images that I saw first-hand while in Ethiopia.
The idea of not having much in life is incredibly different in other parts of the world and I don't know that I'll ever be able to shake that thought. I think that once Baron traveled to Haiti and Belize that he had similar thoughts, that there has to be something that we can do to help those that don't have as much. Yes, there are so many worthy causes in this world. There are people who are suffering here. In fact, my wife, a teacher, had a student who remarked to her last week, that we should be helping people here and that people in other parts of the world weren't our problem. My wife, calmly remarked, that every child needs a home.
I didn't get this until I reached the age of 37 and the refreshing thing is that Baron understood this idea fresh out of college.
I mentioned this the last time that I wrote about Baron as a human being, he is not without faults, and he will most likely tell you the same thing. But I cannot express how proud I am, as an alumnus of Texas Tech, that a former athlete of my university is trying to make a difference.
It is easy to think about doing something and it is something entirely different to actually do something and for that, I salute you Baron.
To see the rest of the Buick Human Highlight Reel, go to www.NCAA.com/Buick.