Mya Quarles is an Obama Academy Pittsburgh junior who plays center field for the school’s softball team. Her connection to the diamond began when she joined a T-ball league at age three, and her passion for the game knows no bounds.
“I’ve played baseball pretty much my whole life with my brother, and I turned that into slow-pitch softball in the eighth, then into the ninth, which is fastpitch,” Quarles said. “The best part of the game for me is when someone hits a really hard one in the middle of the field and I have to run for them, then I catch them and hear everyone cheering.”
Of course, what’s not to love about it?
Quarles also has plans to become a sportscaster one day. To achieve this goal, she plans to study communications and media at Howard University in Washington, DC, or possibly locally at the University of Pittsburgh or Point Park University.
“I want to be a sports commentator, but not one of the people reporting on the pitch,” Quarles said with conviction. “I want to be in the booth talking about the game as it unfolds.”
On Saturday at PNC Park, Quarles was among a select group of girls from the Pirates’ Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities (RBI) program who participated in a “Women in Sports” event that brought together more than a dozen female members. Pirates. front-office. The two-hour session included a panel discussion led by Jacque Skowvron, Executive Director of Pirates Charities and Community Engagement, and a networking session over lunch. Both have been designed to help RBI softball players better understand the career opportunities available within the Pirates organization and throughout the sports industry.
Other members of the Pirates front office who participated included Director of Corporate Partnership Activation Katie Shockey, Director of Premium Partner Experience Erinn Sander, Business Director of Baseball Operations Sarah Steinberg and Director of Operations and Facilities Strategy Jackie Riggleman.
Topics of discussion included the teamwork dynamic that is essential for athletes and business people, the value of internships and mentors, the challenges women face in an industry that is changing but still dominated by people, respect and appreciation for others, not being afraid to fail and the importance of learning to communicate effectively.
“By being here and in contact with the women of the Pirates who spoke, you can feel that they really care about you and want to give you good advice that will help you throughout your career and your life. “, said Quarles.
The event culminated in a community service project that saw RBI softball players and Pirates officials work hand-in-hand to pack bags that were immediately donated to the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. The women’s bags included items such as a thermal mug, an adult coloring book, crayons, various hygiene products, bottled water, and snacks. Children’s bags included a pirate plushie and bucket hat, coloring books and crayons, toothbrush and toothpaste, juice boxes and snacks.
“As March is Women’s History Month, we really wanted to take the opportunity to not only give back to the women in our community, but also to help the young women who are the next generation in our community,” Skowvron said. “So we focused on RBI softball players and invited 18 of them to join us here today so they can meet and network with the women of the Pirates. In addition, they were able to join us in a community service project. »
“The Pirates have always been interested in our mission to help victims of domestic violence and their children,” said Kristin Brown, director of development for the Women’s Center and Shelter. “Over the years they have provided financial support and in-kind support in the form of gifts for adults and children. As you can imagine, many survivors come to us without much, so donations like the ones we receive today really help support those we serve.