Each semester, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) runs a feature series to highlight the impact student-athletes from its 14 schools are making off the playing surface.
This fall, the feature series is "Impactful Service: Making Others & Yourself Better."
Two males and two females from each school were selected and asked to answer the following questions:
1. What community service event did you take part in?
2. What lessons did you learn by taking part in the event?
3. How do you apply those lessons in your life since taking part in the activity?
Here is what softball's Gina Pustizzi had to say:
1. As a part of the USciences softball team, I had an opportunity to help run a camp for the Phillies' RBI Softball League. Through the Junior RBI and RBI League programs, over 5,000 at-risk youth are playing organized baseball/softball with equipment provided to them. We were able to run a softball clinic for them and also stayed for a Q&A session so that the participants in the camp could ask us anything they wanted about softball, school, being a Division II student-athlete, or anything else they wanted to know.
2. Through the RBI program we were able to show how much of an impact something small (like a softball clinic) can make, especially on kids! Some of these children are from at-risk communities and giving them an opportunity which they may not have had otherwise, to learn and have fun playing softball, was so rewarding. It's amazing how little it takes to make the difference in someone's day, week, or life, and how easy it is to make a change even in your own backyard. We didn't even have to leave our city to make a huge difference in kids' lives; I learned that it is so easy to be helpful and make a difference in someone's life. It is also something that we could do while playing/teaching the sport we love!
3. I have realized how rewarding it is to work with kids as well as with your own community. In the future, I will continue to do service but on a more local level to be more connected with my community and the needs within it. As I continue different community service projects, I will continue to work with children because of how much it makes a difference to them and how rewarding they are to work with. Finally, these children were so grateful for such a small gesture by us, which reminds me to be grateful every day for everything that I have and that I have the opportunity to participate in.