Like a true leader, 17-year-old Timothy Bitzer pulls inspiration from his own life experiences to impact the lives of those around him. When one of his younger teammates on Cornerstone Christian Academy’s summer baseball team was struggling with disciplinary actions, Bitzer reached out to his middle school English teacher to create a student mentorship program in which upperclassmen work with a middle school student on campus to guide them along. “Growing up is not the easiest thing,” he says. “A lot of things change.”
Pitch Hitter: Bitzer hasn’t played baseball since he was 12, but he didn’t let that stop him from picking it up again in high school. Although he’s scrawny at 6 feet, 2 inches tall, he warns not to let his size fool you. “Most people wouldn’t think that I have power, but I have a lot,” says Bitzer, who also plays soccer. “It surprises people when I hit the ball sometimes.”
Hey, Teach: Bitzer draws most of his inspiration from his teachers, so much so that he hopes to follow in their footsteps and one day and teach geography or social studies. “They’re great people that I can talk to about anything,” says Bitzer. “Being challenged in the classroom at our age builds perseverance.”
Busy Body: Bitzer held two jobs over the quarantine to keep himself occupied, working as a landscaper and a grocery store employee. He also got into cross-country, running between 8 and 9 miles every other day. “I tried to stay off the video games as much as I could,” he says.
Long Live: While Bitzer looks ahead to attending college at either the University of Akron or Kent State University, he’s not letting his high school days pass him by. He’s learned not to take anything for granted: When he was a newborn, he stopped breathing for more than a minute due to various sudden allergic reactions. “I’m very lucky to be here,” he says. “I want to take the free time that I have now to enjoy life.”