As a college student, Edgar Sanchez viewed his therapeutic recreation major as a way to combine his two passions: sports/fitness and helping others.
Now, the SJC Long Island 2012 graduate is running his very own therapeutic recreation organization, turning his passion into a paycheck.
“I fell in love with the concept of helping others through recreation,” said Sanchez, creator of Live Through Rec (LTR), an organization offering recreational activities to help those with special needs, illnesses and/or disabling conditions.
“I was inspired to start LTR by other special needs programs in New York, and by other entrepreneurs. I saw my peers starting their own businesses, and I knew I could do the same,” the Queens resident added.
Starting His Own Organization
LTR offers in-person services in New York City and across Long Island, and it offers virtual options across the nation through its “Go Live” initiative. In addition to offering recreation therapy services, they also offer bike riding, sports, fitness and tutoring programs.
“Over the past two years, I’ve been able to bring on additional instructors to my Live Through Rec team,” Sanchez said. “Having the ability to facilitate their professional growth and to see the impact they have on our clients’ lives has been my favorite part.”
While owning his own business has been a dream come true, it’s not entirely free of challenges.
“The hardest part is work-life balance,” Sanchez shared. “There’s always work to be done that honestly doesn’t feel like work because it’s for my own business. But to my wife, family and friends, it’s work! So I’m always working. Sometimes I have to take a step back and make sure I’m cultivating my personal relationships as much as Live Through Rec.”
Getting His Start at St. Joseph’s College
When it comes to getting his start in the field of therapeutic recreation, Sanchez said he owes it all to St. Joseph’s.
“SJC always held a prestigious reputation, and I wanted a degree from a school that would hold weight — that would allow me to stand out from the crowd and signify I received a well-rounded education,” said Sanchez, who grew up in Brentwood. “My favorite part of my time at SJC was my internship during my senior year. It turned into my first job offer as a recreation therapist, and it kick-started my career.”
“Dr. Lamberta always supported me as a student,” said Sanchez, who received a master’s degree in teaching students with disabilities from St. John’s University. “Throughout her courses, I always put my personality into my assignments and projects, and she always provided useful feedback that validated my ideas. I also appreciated her knowledge into the profession. She made leisure management a reality for me.”
His advice to other SJC students looking to one day start their own business? Take action.
“Push yourself to be the person you want to be,” he said. “If that’s being an entrepreneur, then don’t stop until you get there. Many people get stuck in ‘analysis paralysis,’ getting stuck proving a concept or doubting what they can do, so they don’t even take the first steps.
“Yes, it’s important to have a plan and a clear vision, but go ahead and do it —take action! The first steps are the toughest, but once you get going, you won’t want to stop.”
This story is part of OnCampus’ “Becoming a Business Owner” series, focusing on St. Joseph’s College alumni who pursued their passions and became entrepreneurs.