Students at the Orchards Gardens K-8 School were treated to a triple play Monday morning, as the school welcomed Boston Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy, Sox Executive Vice President of Partnerships Troup Parkinson, and State Street Head of Events and Sponsorships Rosie Pascuccio for a special Big Cheese Reads event.

The pair of Red Sox staffers joined an auditorium of seventh and eighth grade students to read a selection entitled Courage, written by Boston Public Schools student Jose De La Cruz, before having a discussion about the role of mentorship in sports. Moderated by Rosie, the conversation stressed the importance of being proactive and finding “un-like-minded” mentors who help challenge you.

“You may not have mentors come to you. You can ask your teachers or your coaches to help mentor you. If there’s someone you connect with, don’t be shy. Ask them to help teach you. There’s so much they can offer you.” – Boston Red Sox President and CEO, Sam Kennedy


With Spring Training just around the corner, Sam and Troup even got some media practice in, fielding a series of tough questions from Orchard Gardens’ students about everything from starting your own business to working for the rival New York Yankees. Their shared message? Go after what makes you excited, and believe in yourself.

Sam: It’s always harder in the beginning of anything, in school and in your job. You have to hang in there. Get some experience doing anything related to what you want to do. If you fail, the lessons that you learn will help you moving forward.

Troup: When you keep hearing, ‘no’ you start to think it’s not going to happen for you. There are always times when you think you should give up or it’s not going to work out. It will work out if you have faith and confidence in yourself.”

Huge thanks to Sam, Troup, Rosie, and the Orchard Gardens K-8 School for hitting it out of the park during this great discussion on Monday. To learn more about the Big Cheese Reads initiative and how to get involved, please visit our page here.