You can do whatever you put your mind to.

That’s the message recently hired multiple program worker (MPW) Dustin Molleken has for the youth he works with. An MPW is an employee in our residential programs who cover off shifts in the different houses.

Dustin (courtesy of mlb.com)

Dustin spent 18 years as a professional baseball player, playing all over the world. He came up through the minor leagues and had the opportunity to play all through Canada and the US and spent two years in Japan before being signed by the Detroit Tigers and “getting to the big leagues.”

“My interest in baseball started when I was four years old, and I never looked back,” Dustin said.

But it wasn’t always easy.

“I struggled growing up because of my stutter and learning disability,” he explained. “But I found out that when you put your mind to something, anything is possible. Hard work, dedication, and a dream can get you anywhere in life.”

In 2010, Dustin received the Roberto Clementine Award from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, given to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual’s contribution to the team. He played for Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic, and in 2011, was on the gold medal team at the Pan Am Games.

“Making the big leagues in 2016 – that was my dream come true.”

Dustin started at the Ranch four weeks ago and has been enjoying his time.

“I do talk to the kids about my time in the MLB. They’re happy to hear my stories, and by sharing some I hope that maybe I can help them go after their dreams or give them hope for a dream of their own,” he said.

“My hope is that by instilling some of my hard work and dedication to the kids at the Ranch, and by showing them what I had to go through to reach my dream, maybe they can build confidence in themselves."