July 7, 2009
UCSB student-athletes are a special group of young men and women who also serve as great role models to the many fans and youth that support them in sports and in everyday life. Each day more than 450 UCSB student-athletes compete in the classroom, compete in their respective sport and give back to the community.
This week's Great Example is softball player, Priscilla Perez. A native of Carson, Calif., Perez is entering her senior year with a major in communication and a minor in education. She is on her way to becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college. Perez has ambitions of furthering her education in the field of athletic development or human resources, specifically in the hotel business.
"Honestly I don't feel like I'm the first to graduate from college due to the support of my parents and family," Perez said. "They had always set high goals for me academically and athletically. In working hard to achieve my goals, applying for college just seemed like the next natural step."
While she excels on the field and in the classroom, Perez works two part-time jobs and still finds time to contribute to the community with an array of volunteer work. As secretary and co-representative of the softball team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, Perez works towards developing and maintaining relationships with the local community through philanthropy. Earlier this year, Isla Vista Youth Projects benefited from SAAB's community efforts.
Perez plays an active role as a student representative on the Athletic Department's BE Great Committee, which focuses on relevant student-athlete and Intercollegiate Athletic staff welfare, leadership and on-campus interactions. Perez took some time to answer a few questions about herself.
1. Is there any motto that you live by?
Success is the peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.
2. If you could only pick one Isla Vista restaurant to eat at, which one would you pick?
Sweet Alley, if you will let me count that as a restaurant.
3. What do you like to do in your free time?
I really do not have free time but I guess when I do I go to Trader Joes, watch Netflix movies, or scrapbook.
4. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I always get my left shin taped before my right and during the national anthem I say a prayer for my family members who have battled cancer and pray for those in my family who have served or are still serving our country.
5. What has been your favorite class at UCSB so far?
Family Communication - Great teacher, topic, class. I was able to learn a lot about the research method and how to apply it to my life.
6. What is one thing about you most people don't know?
I have a little brother who I love very much! Well he is 18, not really little anymore.
7. If you couldn't play softball, what other sport would you want to play?
I would want to play basketball but I realize I am not really built for that sport. I am barely 5'4".
8. What is your favorite part about Gaucho softball?
Coming to practice or games knowing that someone is bound to make me laugh.
9. What is the most embarrassing moment in your softball ¬¬career?
When stealing second base at a national tournament I pierced through my lip because I bit down so hard from the impact.
10. If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
John Wooden. I would love the opportunity to have a conversation with him and just talk about the life he has lived and lessons he has learned.
11. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
The ability to fly! I want to go visit so many states and countries, but buying those plane tickets are so expensive!
12. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
Cancun or Hawai'i. I have never had the opportunity to go on a vacation that is water related. I would love to just lay out and get massages for a week.
13. What are your dreams after college?
I have four completely different goals: graduate school, an Intercollegiate Athletics position, Teach for America or an opportunity in the hotel business such as human resources or the front desk.
14. What are your interests outside of softball?
15. What is your biggest challenge, mentally, or physically in softball, and how do you overcome it?
I believe my biggest challenge is the physical aspect of my game. I am constantly injured and I am not built with a naturally athletic body, so in order to overcome those setbacks I overcome it with a strong mental game. I am constantly thinking about how I can have an advantage on the field by being mentally focused.
16. What made you decide to attend UCSB?
My official visit. I had Jessica Hejna (Class of 2007) as my host and she was very honest about Gaucho Softball. Her honesty made me realize I was going to a real organization whose teammates were trustworthy and fun.
17. What is the best thing about attending UCSB and being a Gaucho?
The best thing about attending UCSB is that I have the opportunity to get a great education and be in a beautiful place. The best thing about being a Gaucho is the fun that we all have together as a team and school. We are able to truly be student-athletes getting a great education while having great athletic facilities.
18. Who is your biggest role model?
Jessica Mendoza (USA Olympian). She is a great athlete and person. I look up to her not only as a softball player, but as a person because of all the remarkable things she does for women in sports.