Baseball is a game that requires mental toughness and focus. For CJ Pierce ’18, the simplicity of the game, combined with its complex moments are what makes baseball great. His love for the game brought him to SUNY Corning Community College, where he was a student athlete.
“Being a student athlete is tough, but I honestly think it made me a better person,” said CJ. “I’m glad I got to experience it at SUNY CCC because all of the professors really care about how well you’re doing inside and outside of the classroom. It’s just a friendly environment to be in.”
At SUNY CCC, CJ majored in Health and Physical Education Studies with the hopes of working in a sports-related field after graduation. In September of 2018, CJ accepted the position as the Sports Activity Leader at the YMCA in Olean, N.Y.
“I’ve always wanted to stay around sports and be able to work with kids,” said the Richburg, N.Y., native. “I remember being young and discovering my love for baseball, and I want to be a good role model for the kids who are like me.”
CJ was recently part of the Annual YMCA Campaign, which supports the financial assistance program, assuring that nobody is turned away from the programs due to the inability to pay. He had the opportunity to raise scholarship money himself – a process he fell in love with.
“This was my first time in a fundraising role and I really enjoyed it,” said CJ. “I liked being able to interact with the community, and to listen to all of the positive things they had to say about the YMCA. I could see myself in a fundraising position down the road.”
CJ is looking forward to moving up in his career and his return to coaching baseball.
“I want to continue to help the youth in my community grow their love for the game, and to grow into good human beings,” he said. “That’s really the most important thing.”