HOUSTON, June 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation and SpringSpirit joined Houston Astros second baseman José Altuve to host a youth clinic at the SpringSpirit headquarters in Northwest Houston on June 4, 2018. The clinic offered 200 elementary, middle and high school students the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of baseball and the importance of leadership and teamwork.

"There is nothing more gratifying than watching kids build confidence, discipline, and integrity through sports," said Kenny Baldwin, President and Founder of SpringSpirit. "We are blessed to have the support of José Altuve and CITGO, two Houston icons, to continue our mission of improving lives through the life-long character building lessons of sportsmanship," Baldwin added.

A non-profit organization founded in 2010, SpringSpirit works with Spring Branch Independent School District community leaders and volunteers to find safe pathways for underserved youth through organized educational, athletic, ministry and one-on-one mentoring programs. With afterschool tutorials, college preparatory support, sports teams and summer camps, students are given the tools and inspiration to pursue their dreams, on and off the field.

"Empowering the next generation to define their own path and find personal success is the measure of our success as community leaders," stated Rafael Gomez, CITGO Vice President of Strategic Shareholder Relations, Government and Public Affairs. "In addition to our STEM partnerships with Houston school districts, partnering with SpringSpirit allows CITGO to work towards breaking down barriers to education faced by Houston youth," Gomez added.

Since 2014, CITGO has supported SpringSpirit's mission of serving underprivileged young people by facilitating after-school programing and baseball clinics led by Major League Baseball players, as well as through financial donations and career exploration tours. Earlier this year, CITGO served as the Presenting Sponsor for SpringSpirit's biggest annual fundraiser, the Breakfast for Champions.

Altuve said his love for the game makes it easy to coach baseball clinics like this one. "Baseball programs like SpringSpirit and its partnership with CITGO allow our community to encourage students to pursue excellence in academics and a passion for the game. I'm honored to be part of this truly special program and enjoy every moment of coaching these students to do what they already love."

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.

About SpringSpirit
SpringSpirit Baseball provides safe pathways for the underserved youth of Spring Branch in northwest Houston to realize unique opportunities and personal goals through sports, education and mentoring programs. SpringSpirit Baseball hosts Breakfast for Champions annually to raise vital operating funds to serve over 800 students and their families through community programs such as after-school tutorials and college preparatory support, one-on-one mentoring programs, competitive sports teams and summer camps.  For more information visit SpringSpirit.org.