“I am so grateful for the scholarship support I’m receiving because I know that means I won’t be left worrying so much about paying off debt after graduating."
By the time he was a sophomore in high school, José Velasquez knew he wanted to pursue a career in the science field. “My senior year, I was dead certain I wanted to be a mechanical engineer,” said Velasquez, who had the opportunity to develop skills used to solve engineering problem in courses offered at Jericho High School.
When it came time to think about college, Adelphi was the obvious choice for him. Velasquez, who wanted to go to a school on Long Island to remain close to his family, was drawn to the University’s joint degree program in engineering with Columbia University. “I thought Adelphi’s program was amazing,” he said.
Today Velasquez is a student-athlete at Adelphi, although that was not his original plan. While he ran track throughout his high school years, a hip injury his junior year dissuaded him from considering running in college. Just months later, however; he was having a stellar senior year, in which he qualified for nationals. By chance, at one of his track meets his senior year, he was able to connect with Adelphi’s head cross country coach, Katie (DiPietro) Rees ’05, M.A. ’06, who was recruiting at the same track meet.
“I was destined to run at Adelphi,” said Velasquez, who entered Adelphi as a freshman the fall of 2014 as a member of the cross country and track and field teams. He qualified to compete at regionals his very first semester. “I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “I love my team and my teammates.” Velasquez said Adelphi is the perfect fit. “Running Division II gives you the competition of Division I, but doesn’t interfere so much with your academics. You can compete and really focus on your studies,” he said
Velasquez, who dedicates his summers to working, described the relief he and his family felt when he learned he was going to be the recipient of an academic and athletic scholarship from Adelphi and the privately endowed Ronald B. Lee Family Scholarship. “I didn’t want my parents worrying about paying for my education. They have to worry about my little brother and his future,” he said. “I wanted to take responsibility for my college education, so I knew I was going to have to take out several loans.”
“I am so grateful for the scholarship support I’m receiving because I know that means I won’t be left worrying so much about paying off debt after graduating. My parents are so happy. I am so appreciative,” he said. “The support I’m receiving is a huge blessing.”
Published April 2015
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