Inspiring Students to Beat the Odds

We’re empowering middle and high schoolers to realize their biggest dreams.

The best moments in school were the ones where the classroom met the real world. When the teacher says you can put away the textbook and go to space at school. That’s why we’re working relentlessly to bring learning to life for students all over the country.


Students inspired


Schools & Organizations we’ve partnered with


Quarterbacks of Life


States reached

Where our story began

Rocco Scalzi founded Beating the Odds in 1990, after turning his life around following a tragic incident as a former Altoona Pennsylvania police officer. He wanted to share his story, empowering students to overcome their own obstacles, achieve success, and beat the odds.

To kick off the organization, Rocco brought 15,000 students to hear from two speakers who overcame tremendous obstacles: former Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion, Vietnam War hero, and our Honorary Chair, Rocky Bleier, and Vietnam War hero, Bob Wieland.

Today, we offer transformative programs that can be integrated into school curriculums, hands-on experiences outside the classroom, and events with inspirational Quarterbacks of Life, ranging from NASA astronauts to Olympic gold medalists.

Board of trustees

Deb Sahd


Former PA DOC Administrator

Owner, Rad Batter Cookies

Ziad Khoury, MD


Rocco Alianiello

Retired Corporate Executive

Jason Ebersole

Advertising Sales Manager

Joseph Shulman

Retired Corporate Executive and Entrepreneur

Joseph Trofino, Esq.

Creative Artists Agency

Head of Commercial Transactions & Client Services

Office of the Chief Legal Officer

Cathy L. Taschner, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Administrative staff

Rocco Scalzi

Founder & CEO

Ernie Isgro

Producer & Editor

Theresa Showalter

Marketing Director

How our logo
reflects favorable odds

Our logo shows how we inspire students to beat the odds.

The circle, inspired by the shape of the moon, shows how we bring learning to life through methodologically proven programs. The star shows the spark we ignite in students through hands-on learning experiences. Combined in the perfect ratio, these programs and experiences increase the chances of student success.


Want to learn more about how we’re empowering students to beat the odds?