February of 2018 after a meeting with Mychal’s family, closest friends, and advisors just before the start of Spring Training.
The Givens Back Foundation Inc. is a 501.c.3. nonprofit organization founded by current Baltimore Orioles player Mychal Givens and his wife Tiffani Givens. The main goal of the Givens Back Foundation is to enhance the lives of inner city youth through sports.
Growing up in the inner city of Tampa, Florida, Mychal saw the struggles that kids face, and the hardships they endure as they grow. Often sharing his bedroom with his siblings, Mychal grew up in a two-bedroom apartment with his family of five. Sports provided an escape for Mychal. As Mychal excelled in youth sports his friendships and networks began to grow. Playing travel baseball Mychal made some of his best friends, some of whom sit on the board of this foundation and have remained close with Mychal throughout his life. These travel baseball teams that Mychal played on were free to play for and served as the foundation for Mike’s growth and development ultimately leading Mychal to play for the United States national baseball team, and signing a professional contract as the 54th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft.
Mychal made his Major League debut on June 24th, 2015 against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. Since joining the Big-League Club Mike has posted an 18-9 record with a 3.21 ERA, helped the Orioles to the 2016 playoffs, and won a World Baseball Classic with Team USA in 2017. In the offseason Mychal resides in his hometown of Tampa, FL where he has devoted countless hours to coaching youth baseball players and giving back to the community that he grew up in. While working with youth baseball players and coaching a travel baseball team Mychal noticed a troubling trend. Parents seem to be pushing their children to become “mini-pros” at a very young age, and the “pay-to-play generation has significantly changed the sport of youth baseball from the entity that Mychal played in when he was younger. Parents are driving their kids to reach success at earlier ages than ever before and they are willing to pay whatever it costs for the best instruction and to play on the best teams. This has given rise to the “pay-to-play” generation and priced kids who come from less fortunate areas and households right out of the game. Mychal was deeply impacted by seeing this because if this were the environment that he played in growing up, he may not have ever had the chance to make some of his closest friends, or even been able to afford to play for some of the travel teams that he played on. More troubling than all of this was the Mike noticed that the element of fun seemed to be absent in most of the players that he coached. A lot of the players were no longer playing because they had fun playing. They felt pressure to perform at higher levels than they ever had before, and they often played on other elite teams where they never get a chance to get to know their teammates because each weekend other elite players are brought in from all over to help a team win. Observing these troubling trends, paired with his passion for working with youth athletes and philanthropy is what has led Mychal and his wife Tiffani to establish the Givens Back Foundation Inc. The Foundation aims to bring kids together, focusing less on wins and losses, and more on personal growth, while allowing kids from less fortunate areas access to sports, and the ability to have fun in a healthy, engaging environment while learning invaluable life lessons. The Givens Back Foundation Inc. also will aim to enhance the inner-city communities and provide relief to those most in need.
Most funds will be directly invested into the inner-city communities, or individuals, schools, and organizations in the community that have a need. As the organization grows, we plan to partner with other organizations and that could potentially lead to investing funds into other organizations, but that is a long-term objective, not necessarily a short-term objective for the foundation presently.