When most students went home for spring break last year, a group of 13 dedicated journalism students ventured to the Dominican Republic on a mission. They came back with not only a collection of stories, but the rough sketches of a book.

The Dominican Dream: A Passion for Baseball, A Love of Family and a Hope for the Future, published on Nov. 10, fills 140 pages with stories and photographs. Writing these stories may have been a class project for professor Tamara Welter’s journalism seminar, but their compilation serves a greater purpose. The publication is meant to raise awareness of global poverty, particularly in the Dominican Republic.

The students who produced the book provide a voice for Dominican youth, sharing their struggles against drugs, sex trafficking and prostitution with people who can help make a difference. The book focuses on baseball and the escape from poverty it provides for young men. Many of them dream of playing Major League Baseball in order to support their families, but not all of them make it.