Campus, News

Entrepreneur shares struggle with cerebral palsy, gives life advice to students

Long Beach State alumnus Jacob Pacheco shared his experience with cerebral palsy and discussed the journey to his current professional career during the 49er Industry Chat event on Monday, Oct. 12.

As a model, entrepreneur, professional surfer and content creator, Pacheco used his experience of overcoming trauma and finding personal peace to give life advice to students.

Pacheco attended CSULB from 2014 to 2016 to complete his master’s degree in kinesiology. He said San Diego State University had been his first choice, but the institution had dropped their kinesiology program by the time he tried to apply.

Pacheco said he chose Long Beach State because he was interested in the coach training program, which supported his passion to become a coach. He worked as a clinic coach with the LA Galaxy soccer club during his time at Long Beach.

Pacheco said he also enjoyed the “electric vibe” of the city and knew he would want to remain in Long Beach after he graduated.

After he had received his master’s degree in kinesiology, Pacheco said he realized he was on a career path that he had chosen for others, but not himself.

The TedX speaker said he began thinking dark thoughts and was going on a fast downward spiral. Pacheco immediately changed career paths, which he described as “terrifying.”

“I scrapped the whole plan and I started over,” he said.

In the virtual event, Pacheco talked about fear of failure and encouraged students to apply for opportunities that may intimidate them.

“Be comfortable with uncertainty,” Pacheco said.

Pacheco said his parents prepared him for a world that would be hard and unwelcoming. His mother didn’t push him forward, he said, but she supported him in a way that he wouldn’t fall back.

“We don’t get here by ourselves,” Pacheco said.

Since his change in career paths, the keynote speaker has supported notable organizations, including the Adaptive Freedom Foundation, Waves for All Foundation, Angel City Sports and the Disabled Resources Center.

He also developed his own brand, ProneToRide, where anyone can watch past videos of Pacheco’s talks as well as shop for brand merchandise.

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