PeGa is creating a community of fearless leaders through mentoring, cultural exposure, and action. Exposing our youth to new experiences beyond access barriers, along with mentorship, action, and team-centered sports culture, PeGa empowers youth to reach their fullest potential, instilling purpose, passion, and determination.
WHO IS PeGa:
PeGa was named after our founder's late-father, Perry Galloway, Jr. His passion for his community was the core of his life's purpose. Well-known and respected as a mentor and civil rights activist, Perry created a movement of change through action and example. Under his guidance, his four children, along with countless other youth of the community, were exposed to their history, traveled to new places, and were empowered to make their mark by serving those in need. His children witnessed as he courageously tackled injustice while organizing groups to build a better community. Perry made it his mission to give back, so PeGa made it our mission to continue his legacy.
"I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THE PEGA FOUNDATION AND THE WORK CJ GOODWIN'S DOING IN OUR COMMUNITY. IT IS TRULY AMAZING THAT THE KIDS OF OUR COMMUNITY HAVE SUCH GREAT ROLE MODELS TO LOOK UP TO. SEEING THE IMPACT IT HAS MADE IN MY CHILDREN'S LIVES MEANS THE WORLD TO ME."
FROM TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH
HOW CJ GOODWIN TURNED HIS LOSS INTO A LEGACY
On the morning of March 31, 2015, he received the news that no one ever wants to hear. His dad, mentor, and childhood coach had passed away. Timing will never be on our side when it comes to the death of a parent, but for CJ, he felt the timing couldn't have been worse. Only a few months prior, his father predicted he would be picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and shortly thereafter, he made the team. He could feel the pride beaming from his dad as he posed next to him for photos following his very first NFL pre-season game. Remembering the fight they had when he decided to quit playing college sports, then fast-forwarding to his dad's words of encouragement during tough college football seasons, to now, realizing he will miss out on some of the best days of his football career. In his mind, he would travel his much anticipated NFL journey with his dad's direction, just as it had been throughout his entire athletic career. Rather than focusing on the pain that comes with losing your father, CJ decided to redirect that energy in a way that would honor his dad, by giving back to his community.
"WHAT CAN WE DO TOGETHER TO CONTINUE THE WORK HE WAS DOING WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY?"
CJ took this question to his siblings, and collectively, they agreed that they would honor their father by creating a foundation to carry out his mission in life: to uplift the youth of their community.
With that in mind, PeGa was created to provide kids with more opportunities to get out of their daily environment to inspire their ability to think of themselves in a broader context of the world.
"HOW ELSE CAN WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?"
Those that know CJ's father, Perry, know that he wore many hats in order to provoke
change. Prior to Perry's passing, he encouraged his children to take over the
annual Elks Basketball Tournament. He started this event as a way to bring the East Wheeling community together. It was something the entire city looked forward to every year. Knowing that they had some pretty large shoes to fill, CJ decided to use his influence to make an impact. Being a professional football player has allowed him to provide a completely free All-Sports Camp, complete with free gear from the NFL and their affiliates. CJ has worked tirelessly, both in-season and during the offseason, donating his time, money, and resources to see that every kid that participates has a meaningful and memorable experience at camp.
CJ does not plan to stop there. He founded PeGa with the sole purpose to empower disadvantaged youth living in challenged communities through mentoring and team sports. His passion and drive has resulted in partnerships with over 10 schools, a presence in 3 states, and over 2,000 kids being served since day 1.
TODAY, PEGA IS AN EVER-EXPANDING COMMUNITY OF COMMITTED DOERS, MAKING AN IMPACT THROUGHOUT THEIR RESPECTIVE INDUSTRIES.