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Jones, Orioles enhance opportunities for local youth

Jones, Orioles enhance opportunities for local youth

Jones, Orioles enhance opportunities for local youth

BALTIMORE -- As a youngster growing up in the San Diego area, Adam Jones spent much of his time at the Encanto Boys & Girls Club, hanging out with friends, doing homework and "other things" as the Orioles center fielder put it with a mischievous grin.

On Wednesday, Jones -- an active supporter of the Baltimore-based Brooklyn O'Malley Boys & Girls Club -- showcased his latest contributions to the community with the unveiling of the newly renovated Adam Jones and Baltimore Orioles Technology and Learning Center.

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Improvements at the expanded facility include 20 new computers, a new ceiling, fluorescent lights and carpeting. The Orioles also donated a player-used, autographed and authenticated regulation size ping-pong table, with Jones cutting the ribbon and presenting a photo collage that showed the before and after photos.

"I grew up here," Jones said. "And obviously this is something I love to do. Just for the fact that it's a place for kids to always come, if they don't necessarily want to come home.

"I just want to create a better opportunity for these kids here."

The project, which began in July, was made possible through a $75,000 donation from OriolesREACH, a community program funded by the Orioles Charitable Foundation and Jones. It will enhance the Boys & Girls Club's ability to provide educational support, computer skill development and career enrichment, college preparatory and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs to its at-risk and underserved members. The Center will also be utilized by community members for employment search, financial literacy, GED and career and educational support. The Brooklyn O'Malley Boys & Girls Club will partner with institutions of higher learning, local libraries, corporate partners and Baltimore City Public Schools to recruit adult participants as volunteers and mentors for the facility.

Jones, who won an American League Silver Slugger Award on Wednesday night, will continue to raise funds for the club this weekend, when he hosts the first Adam Jones #StayHungry Purple Tailgate on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET before the Baltimore Ravens' home game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Proceeds from the tailgate will go to the Boys & Girls Club.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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