Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Transportation’s Jason Pierce’s favorite WWE Superstar, John Cena, is known for the catch phrase “never give up.” For Jason, the wrestler’s motto is a way of life at work, at play, and in the fast lane of stock car racing.
“I was not a ‘car guy’ until I got this job,” Jason says. “But the job got me into cars, and then into racing.”
At his day job at The Arc, Jason is routinely found washing vehicles inside and out, readying them for inspection, fetching parts for mechanics, and working as a bus aid for children when needed. By night for the past 3 years, he has raced the Number 5 car at Wyoming County International Speedway in Perry.
His favorite grappler has been with him in spirit; Jason’s 1997 Saturn SL2 is detailed as “The John Cena Car.” Having reached his personal goals, Jason was recently able to announce his retirement from racing at age 30 to pursue other interests.
“I had some crashes, but an overall good career,” Jason says. “I even won one race.”
When he wants to slow down, Jason plays Xbox, watches or attends NASCAR events, and collects die cast cars. He also spends time with friends in The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming’s Recreation Program, which receives funding through Livingston County United Way.
Through Recreation, adults age 18 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive a monthly calendar. Community outings include bowling, dance class, horseback riding, scrapbooking, sporting events, shopping, and trips to local restaurants.
Shifting gears drastically from his reputation on race track, Jason cites ceramics as a favorite Recreation outing.
“It’s just something fun to do,” Jason says. “I made a bus, a car, and a football that I gave as gifts to people that I know and work with.”
The Road Ahead
Jason has been a valued member of the Arc Transportation team for about 10 years. Prior to that, he did assembly work at The Arc’s Hilltop work center, cleaned, and worked at McDonald’s through Hilltop’s supported employment program.
For 10 years, Jason has lived independently in a Nunda apartment, although he is considering a move into his parents’ home in Dalton as he attempts to save money. His 3-year goal is to purchase a house of his own.
Jason’s attitude to “never give up” has taken him far since graduating Keshequa Central High School in 2006 – and he’s excited about the road ahead. He hopes to get back into racing within the next couple of years, and he has other, related aspirations.
“I recently changed the oil in my dad’s truck on my own,” he says. “I want to learn more about working on cars and buses.”