Thirty four years ago, Robert Lewis, Jr. formed a youth baseball team in the South End called the Boston Astros, with a belief that baseball could be a powerful vehicle to teach young men values and life skills such as the importance of teamwork, motivation, resiliency, and respect both on and off the playing field.

Since then, Robert has emerged as a nationally recognized thought leader, public speaker and passionate advocate for urban youth and along the way, has led his Astros to be recognized as Triple Crown Sports ‘2012 Team of the Year’ from a field of 40,000, the Triple Crown Sports ‘2013 US National Baseball Champions’, and transformed the lives of more than 8,000 Boston Astros players and alumni. His latest initiative, The BASE, builds on the success of the Boston Astros model to provide players with superior baseball coaching and training, and adds comprehensive academic and life skills training to ensure that every student athlete has a winning game plan for life.

Known as a bridge-builder between Boston’s diverse business, civic and public sectors, Robert has deep experience with community-based organizations throughout Greater Boston and has held important roles such as Executive Director of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, President of NCCJ, and City Year’s SVP of national operations. Most recently Robert was Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation where he was chief architect of two important initiatives: StreetSafe Boston with a mission to dramatically reduce gun violence in the city by working directly with known offenders in the neighborhoods; and CHAMPS Boston which promotes positive youth development through sports.