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My Story Started at GRCC: CJ Breen hopes to help athletes be successful on and off the field

April 5, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful. We’re sharing some of those stories, and want to hear yours!

While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sports management at St. Cloud State University, CJ Breen finds himself tapping the lessons and skills he learned at GRCC.

Breen came to GRCC after a long search for the perfect place to learn while playing baseball.

“After visiting tens of community colleges from Illinois to Tennessee, nothing compared to the feel of the campus GRCC offers,” he said. “The campus is comparable to any four-year institution in the state.”

Breen played infield for the Raiders while pursuing an Associate of General Studies and earning a spot on the 2019 NJCAA All-Academic Third Team. He credits his time at GRCC with teaching him time-management skills and the importance of making academics a priority.

“My academic success has opened up many doors that I never thought possible,” he said, “and that’s why I strive to be an advocate for student athletes to do their best while in the classroom. Treat every course like it was your job and the professors like the boss of the company.”

Breen, who hopes to eventually work in college athletics, has had the chance to see sports from many angles during his time at St. Cloud and Niagara universities.

He has worked in athletics marketing as an intern with College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts and as a camera operator for ESPN broadcasts. While working with the athletic director at the University of Tennessee-Martin, he sat in on meetings about fall sports during the pandemic.

“I have a passion and understanding of what it’s like to be in those student athletes’ shoes,” Breen said, “and I want to be in a position to better those athletes’ futures on and off the field.”

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at grcc.edu/apply.

And tell us your story here: grcc.edu/communications/shareyourgrccstory

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