Student-athlete Mike Pesci ’12.
The Perfect Pitch
When Mike Pesci ’12 was young, he had goals few kids his age had. Like his peers, he played sports – baseball since the age of four – and his studies were important. But it was helping people that mattered most to him. By the time he was 18 years old, he had not only started a non-profit, he had also raised $100,000.
It started with a home run derby that Pesci helped organize to raise money for charity when he was 11 years old. The event captured the two passions Pesci held close: baseball and philanthropy, and soon turned into a non-profit organization called Perfect Pitch HRD, Inc. Pesci’s non-profit has now raised over $180,000 for mentally and physically handicapped children and young adults and for the sports programs of disadvantaged youth.
“When Perfect Pitch was starting up, I had a lot of support from family and friends,” Pesci said. “So many people were willing to spread the word, and they believed in the organization – they were willing to help us do anything to help others.”
And the good word has spread far. Pesci was recently recognized nationally for his accomplishments by being named an “All Star Among Us” by Major League Baseball and People Magazine. Pesci shares the honor with his sister, Christina Pesci, who is president of Bridging the Generation Gap, an outreach organization which promotes friendship between young people and senior citizens. Helping others is something that runs in the family.
“My father organizes a ‘Cruise for Kids’ motorcycle run to raise money for abused children,” said Pesci. “He leads by example and has always helped others.”
At UMBC, Pesci maintains the organization on top of playing baseball for the Retrievers and working toward his interdisciplinary studies degree with a focus in business and non-profit administration. Despite the distance between Maryland and his hometown, Parsippany, New Jersey, Pesci still helps organize raffles organization and maintains relationships with previous donors.
“It’s hard while I’m not at home,” he said. “It’s difficult, but I’ve realized the importance of doing this while I’m in school; it’s a passion I have.”
When the organization first started, Pesci organized and volunteered at a baseball game for mentally and physically handicapped children. It was Pesci’s job to help the impaired children get around the bases. He assisted a girl on crutches, and when she reached home plate her smile was “incredible.”
“Scoring a run has always been a good feeling for me – but for her, it was a really big deal.”
About five years later, Pesci helped a young woman with spina bifida who needed a new wheelchair but was financially unable. Perfect Pitch provided her with a titanium wheelchair.
“It turned out to the same girl I helped around the bases,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. We continue to sponsor her today.”
This story is just one of the reasons why Pesci knows he needs to work in the non-profit field when he graduates.
“I want Perfect Pitch to continue to grow and build a career out of it,” he said. “I want to make a living while helping others in the process.”
Pesci recently received the 2009 Joseph and Frieda Faiman Eisenberg/VPC Endowed Scholarship, given by the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. The Joseph and Frieda Faiman Eisenberg/VPC Endowed Scholarship was established by Eli Eisenberg '86 for an outstanding UMBC undergraduate interested in becoming an entrepreneur.
More information on Perfect Pitch HRD, Inc. is available online.