Pinkman Academy adopted organization, Haese Academy

Helping Achieve Excellence through Sports and Education

Haese Academy Incorporated, Inc., a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit, lifts Dominican youth out of poverty through education and athletic training. The goal is for our students to utilize their academic and athletic abilities to realize their dream of higher education. Working from the ground up, the Haese Academy functions as a bilingual elementary school and secondary education community center offering tutoring, athletic training, healthy nutrition, exam prep, and formal English education. 

The Haese Academy, formerly operating out of the Haese family home and public facilities, purchased a new forever home in August 2020 that has become a multi-purpose campus, benefiting Academy students & the greater Las Terrenas, DR community.

The house and grounds serve as a primary school, baseball academy, and community center, providing free education, athletic training, employment, and job training opportunities. The campus includes a computer lab, dining hall, fitness center, library, and numerous open-air outdoor classrooms.

Haese is a dedicated family of teachers, coaches and mentors working together to stop the crippling cycle of poverty in the Dominican Republic.

How You Can Help

We welcome all to participate in donating no-longer-used equipment that might be taking up space in your closets, basements, or garages. If you would prefer to purchase new equipment and bring it in we are happy to accept those donations as well. We encourage players to take a leadership role within their own baseball families, and ask that players approach their teammates and coaches to participate in collecting gear to bring to the Pinkman Academy.

The story 

The Haese-Pinkman Connection

Derek Haese is a 2007 graduate of George Washington University and was a RHP for the GW Colonials.  In 2014, Derek and his wife, Susan, moved into the same Reston neighborhood where John and Ruth Ann Pinkman have lived for 25 years, and where Jeff and Brandi were making the transition from their apartment to their first townhome. Yes, it’s a small world!  
In the summer of 2016, Derek and Susan quit their jobs, sold all of their belongings and moved their family of four from Washington, DC to the coastal town of Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic, where Susan had secured a job teaching at a local international school.  Although Derek didn’t have job, he knew he wanted to coach baseball; and what better place to do so than the Dominican Republic – The land where baseball reigns? Thus, on his birthday, Derek ventured to the local “play” and told “el jefe” he wanted to help.

2014: The First Trip

John, Ruth Ann, and close friend Joel Riley, vacationed to Las Terrenas. Prior to their trip, the Pinkman Academy had collected baseball equipment (bats, balls, gloves, shoes, and helmets) to give to the Las Terrenas ball players, who had nothing in the way of appropriate baseball equipment. They loaded up the equipment in several bags, and off they headed to the DR.

During the trip, John quickly discovered that not only did the children of Las Terrenas have poor equipment, they also didn’t have a proper playing field – their “baseball field” doubled as a cow pasture. Prior to John, Joel, and Ruth Ann handing out the the baseball gear, they had a pretty hefty job ahead of them just cleaning the field! Along with the town’s children, everyone “pitched” in to not only clear the field of animals, but also filled two dozen bags of trash so the boys could play in a fairly normal environment.

Fast Forward: 2017

Three years later, the concept of the Haese Academy truly took a new form, and Derek Haese began coaching a nd teaching teenagers who were seeking professional contracts. The ballplayers, or “peloteros” as they are called in Las Terrenas, started showing up, one by one, at the Haese household. Some of the boys would run 3 miles to get to the house in the morning so they could practice on the grounds in the afternoon.

This was welcomed with open arms because it gave Susan and Derek the opportunity to provide the aspiring athletes with some healthy food and vitamins, something that unfortunately these young men are not guaranteed to have on a daily basis.

The peloteros quickly learned some great new habits, which led to countless breakfasts and dinners with the Haese family, and eventually one student-athlete moving in full time. As you would expect, the schedule of the ballplayers evolved and eventually blended into the schedule of the Haese family. They would work out at the field in the morning and early afternoon with Derek, and then meet up with Susan in the early evening for a study session and dinner that consisted of conversation in English. The two worlds, education and sport, were coming together beautifully and all involved were able to quickly see the growth and development that was blossoming.

By 2018, the boys had put on an average of 12-15 pounds of healthy, athletic muscle, their pitching mechanics had improved ten-fold, and some were on the verge of signing professional contracts. While this is an amazing feat in its own right, Susan and Derek are most proud of the fact that the boys are now engaged in their school work and starting to speak English. They practice baseball during the day and go to school at night. A requirement of the Haese Academy is that everyone must be enrolled in high school, or have graduated, in order to participate.

Present Day: A Well-Oiled Machine

In 2022, Haese Academy’s humble beginning has already created a powerful impact. Alumni have signed professional baseball contracts, won Minor League Rookie-of-the-Year honors, enrolled in university, and are proving to be influential role models and mentors for underserved Dominican Youth.

Haese Academy has developed a proven program focusing on five key success factors:

  1. Lower school/primary education
  2. College preparatory education
  3. Consistent nutrition
  4. Athletic training
  5. Mentorship and management 

Haese Academy: Impact & Guiding Principles

With proper education and established strategic partnerships, our students can utilize their abilities to earn scholarships and enroll in a collegiate university.

In 2021 alone:

  • $28,000 awarded in scholarships
  • 78% increase in primary enrollment
  • 519 books added to library
  • 12 computers added + computer lab built
  • 740 hours of English instruction
  • 500 hours of Spanish instruction
  • 1 scholarship to Kansas Christian College

With proper training and access to world-class equipment and materials we can develop students into their most competitive selves.

In 2021 alone: 

  • 2,250 breakfasts served
  • 500 protein bars eaten
  • 160lbs of protein powder consumed

With proper nutrition, we can feed the mind and body the nutrients it needs to allow individuals to thrive in the classroom and on the field.

In 2021 alone:

  • 1 professional-grade athletic tunnel built
  • 600 hours of personalized instruction
  • 640 sessions at the gym
  • 18 lbs of muscle added to athletes

All together, we can develop thought leaders who serve their communities and are viewed as role models for future generations.

In 2021 alone:

  • $4,435 donated to the community
  • 100+ hours of service
  • 1 entire house built