MOTT HAVEN - Yankees hero Mariano Rivera visited a group of student athletes in the Bronx, encouraging them to stay in school.

Rivera told the students that while injuries can cut a career short, school will prepare them for life.

The students are part of the Small Schools Athletic League. David Garcia-Rosen founded the league in 2011 as a way to bring sports to high schools with little or no access to them.

"We just couldn't sit idly by anymore and watch another student drop out when we know sports would keep them engaged in school," says Garcia-Rosen. The league now consists of 37 schools citywide.