Beating the Odds Foundation was founded in 1990 by Rocco Scalzi, a former
After appearing on the Geraldo Rivera television special entitled, “Cop Killers and Killer Cops,” in 1989, Rocco was invited to speak to high school students about his work in law enforcement.
Message to StudentsRocco's reason for accepting the invitation to speak to high school students over twenty years ago was the result of a school assembly program he attended as an elementary student in 1965. Watching Pennsylvania State Police officers marching in uniform, riding motorcycles and horseback, shooting balloons out of the sky, and speaking about the work of a police officer, Rocco learned the power of a dream. Rocco's message to students in 1989 focused on dreams, goals, overcoming obstacles, and the importance of developing a never give up attitude. Today, 2 decades later, his message to students is the same.
In 1990, Rocco founded the Beating the Odds Foundation. To kick off this inspirational charity, he brought 15,000 students to Three Rivers Stadium, then-home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, to hear how others reached their dreams and goals despite the obstacles they faced. The first two individuals who joined Rocco that day remain an important part of the Beating the Odds Foundation. Former Pittsburgh Steeler great and Vietnam War hero Rocky Bleier and Vietnam War hero Bob Wieland continue to inspire students and adults to never give up. Rocky Bleier serves as Co-Chairman of the Beating the Odds Foundation.
Rocco has collaborated with many other individuals, we call Quarterbacks of Life®, who faced setbacks and problems, and emerged from some of life's toughest battles with a victory. From the lessons of his own life and from years of research about life's setbacks, and the resilience of those who always seem to rise to the top in the face of adversity, Rocco's message conveys to everyone that we are the designers of our own destinies. We are solely responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and ultimately, for our own successes and failures.
Rocco has produced several motivational films for both law enforcement officials and young people, encouraging them to never give up in spite of the obstacles of life. Rocco has appeared around the country as a guest speaker for schools, corporations, police academies, and on radio and television programs. Today, Rocco serves as Founder and President of the Beating the Odds Foundation.