Remy Velez


My journey has a lot of twists and turns in it and I didn’t see myself invested in a sports management degree until recently.
   In fact at the beginning, college didn’t even seem attainable to me.  After graduating high school, I didn’t really have any aspiration to go on to college immediately.  I was tired of school to say the least after my turbulent time in high school.  I had to try to keep busy somehow cause no one in my family would stand for me for not doing anything for more than a few months.  So despite my dismay, I went through with Middlesex County College and sure enough I dropped out of all my classes in my first semester.   Not the story book journey that most people take but as far as I was concerned,  I would instead spend my time figuring out where I fit in the world professionally.  During this time, I picked up some job experience working in kitchens in senior living facilities until a friend suggested looking into things I love and look up careers in them.  That suggestion as well as doing a career test to see where my interest might lie brought me to sports medicine, mainly physical therapy.  Being a big sports fan, I fit right in to this profession. This is where I had my first true sense of direction since leaving high school and the feeling was unreal. That coupled with my time off to clear my head molded me into a capable human without me knowing.
This is where I suddenly caught my second wind and went back to Middlesex County College in 2015, all while securing a job as a physical therapy aide (PTA) in Lawrenceville in 2016. The research I did on the physical therapy field also inspired me to go for certificates in CPR and PTA training, putting me on another level above most physical therapy aides. Before I knew it I was days away from getting an associate’s degree, had years of PTA experience and was looking to transfer to Rutgers University.  Everything in my past that led me to Collier was an afterthought at this point and I realized that none of it should have defined me as a person because it is in the past.  What kind of person I was in the future was all that counted and my confidence in becoming the man I wanted to be was through the roof.  It was all because I took time to explore the world until I had that moment of learning my path to success.  Now things like being part of a massive university like Rutgers didn’t intimidate me in the slightest.  However, the curriculum did eventually get to me.
Studying to get an exercise science degree at RU was painful to say the least as the levels of science and math were too much to handle. Roadblocks in life happen all the time.  I've been through them since I was a kid so while I was down about switching majors and giving up my PT goal after all my hard work, it would not halt my charge.  I was too determined to give in to not getting a degree, my family had too much riding on me not graduating and my friends had too much faith in me to not let me push through.  So I switched to the next best degree, sport management where I’m more than likely pursuing a career as a sport agent. There are many opportunities in this field however, that could involve me working in all types of settings all while being invested in one of my favorite past times, sports.  Broadcasting, marketing, sales, event planning, managing an organization are just a handful of the many avenues sport management provides and I was not intimidated.  In fact, this journey gave me something more valuable than the education or job experience itself, it restored my confidence, determination and gave me a direction in life.
I never looked back at my past and short changed my ability to be someone, no matter the pain I experienced, the people who influenced me down a bad path or certain people’s lack of faith in me.  That is all outside influence that has nothing to do with me as a person.  You have the ability to be whatever you want even through the hardest times in your life.  If you need to let that negative energy fuel you to reach your goals, once you obtain them, you just proved everyone wrong and you have the power at that moment.

So I would look into things that interest you, there could be a career path there that may lead into many more along with a wide variety of connections with like minded people like you. Whenever you are shrouded in pain and people that want to see you fail, remember the goal you set out to accomplish.   Picture yourself as that desired version of yourself and watch it fuel you towards what you want to accomplish.   It is by no means easy, I can attest to that and at times I wanted to quit, but you can’t have growth as a person without struggle and pain. Strength and pain actually help to mold who you are as a person, but that is only if you take it in stride and not let it beat you into submission.  Remember that everyone has the capacity to be great, so don’t ever doubt what you are capable of before even attempting it.  Believe you have the ability because you do, if you work hard enough you will find that you are capable. When it is all said and done you can look back and bask in your accomplishments and see how you got from where you were from your past to now.  There is nothing quite like that feeling.


Rutgers University Class of 2020