Sean’s Story

When I was in my sophomore year, I was taken out of high school for five months to undergo chemotherapy treatments for Burkitt’s lymphoma.  At a time when my friends were taking regular classes trying to prepare for life after graduation, I was forced to put my focus on getting better and beating this disease.  I was worried I was going to fall behind my fellow classmates but thankfully I met Connecting Champions.  They visited my hospital room and asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I told them my dream was to be a sports broadcaster and they paired me with Joe Block, play-by-play announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Six weeks later, Joe visited me in the hospital and we talked for two hours about a variety of things:  his journey to the big league broadcast booths, what classes I should be taking to further my education in sports journalism, and some of his favorite baseball memories.  However, the thing that stuck with me the most was how honest he was regarding the challenges and chances of me following in his footsteps.  Joe told me that he is one of only 60 people in the world with this job and that for as much work as it took to get to his position, it took just as much luck and being in the right places at the right time.  This opened my eyes and made me realize that sports broadcasting is more of a hobby than a potential career.  I am now going to school studying Communications with a dream of pursuing a career in nonprofit work.
I am forever grateful for my friendship with Joe.  He went from a mentor to a friend of not just me but my entire family.  I have been to Pirates games with him, met his family, and continue to keep in touch and talk about baseball and life in general.  I wouldn’t be where I am both professionally and in life if it wasn’t for Joe and Connecting Champions.

Activity Kits

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

Reach Out to Us

Or contact Friendship@ConnectingChampions.org / 412.376.3755