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An Excerpt from The Courage to Be Free that touched me

Updated: Apr 6, 2023


"PEOPLE OFTEN TALK about the need for a student-athlete to "balance" the demands of the classroom with the requirements of sports. For me, I rejected the idea that I would strike a balance between academic achievement and athletic success, because I was not willing to give less than 100 percent to either baseball or my academics. So instead of balancing, I just did everything to the hilt and let the chips fall where they may.


My anti-balancing act was made even more challenging because I had no choice but to work to help put myself through school. Tuition and room and board at Yale were more than my parents' annual income, and Yale didn't offer full rides to athletes or anyone else. I had worked forty hours a week during the summer before my freshman year and put 100 percent of each check toward my college expenses, but I knew I could not work forty hours as a student-athlete. So I did various jobs around campus to make ends meet. This included recycling trash, parking cars at events, moving furniture, and coaching baseball clinics. I even worked as one of the ball boys for Yale soccer matches--when the ball went out-of-bounds, I would run to retrieve it and give it back.


By the time I was a senior, my baseball coach dubbed me the "most employable kid at Yale." I would do just about any task, no matter how menial, if I could fit it into my schedule. If someone needed a job done around campus, they knew to call me.


I answered the calls because I had no choice. I was living paycheck to paycheck. I ended each school year with only about a hundred dollars in my checking account. I didn't go on spring vacations to the Bahamas, spend summers in the South of France, or ski in Aspen over Christmas.

I worked year-round to make ends meet."


What a phenomenal leader whose "intellect is truly grounded in a sober, levelheaded outlook." That's Ron DeSantis' upbringing.

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