Cory Buckley is a left-handed pitcher on the Iowa Central Community College baseball team. In baseball circles, being left-handed often gives you a big advantage. Cory Buckley's life, however, has never been one of advantages.
The sophomore Criminal Justice major from Bellevue, Neb. is an example of a student who has earned everything he's attained. And right now, that's quite a bit. He was chosen by an Iowa Central panel as one of the school's two nominees for the USA Today Academic All-America team. He carries a 3.8 grade point average, was a member of the Dean's List and a first team academic all-region selection in baseball.
Cory and his mother Beth Buckley moved from California to suburban Omaha when Cory was 12. Since then the two of them have been on their own. Baseball was Cory's ticket to Iowa Central, but once here, he has embraced all phases of college life and wants to someday be an officer of the law.
Cory Buckley is a member of the Iowa Central chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national academic honor society for two-year schools.
``I'd like to go to a four-year school after Iowa Central and keep playing baseball and get my four-year criminal justice degree. I've always wanted to be a cop,'' he says.
Though the grades are very good now, it wasn't always that way. ``High school started off kind of rough for me. I was in the (principal's) office two or three times a week. By the time I was a senior I wasn't in any trouble. I think my situation forced me to mature faster than most kids.'' Now, he's a member of the Iowa Central chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national academic honor society for two-year schools.
Focused, determined, and on course for his Associate of Arts Degree in the spring, Buckley is a perfect example of a community college success story. ``He wants to succeed every day when he wakes up,'' says his Iowa Central baseball coach Rick Pederson. Baseball, at the college level, takes time out of every day and Buckley appreciates the disciplined life that goes with it. ``Yes, it's time consuming. We work out all year long. I'm getting pushed a lot harder than I expected but that's good, it makes us better,'' he says.
When Buckley made his first visit to Iowa Central he liked what he saw. ``I liked the campus, liked the way the dorms were set up, the small classroom sizes and the baseball facilities.'' Since he's been here, he's taken advantage of the many student activities that are offered on campus.
Cory Buckley is a student who has been given little, but earned plenty. In other words, he's just the kind of person you'd want protecting your community someday.