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Fight to the Top

On January 5th, 2010, Coach Tim Hill and members of the Geneva Boxing Team were presented with a check to officially mark the scholarship commitment to the Geneva Boxing Team and the University of Rochester.  Last November, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition aired an episode that featured the Hills, a Geneva family known for helping at-risk youths.  While Ty Pennington and his crew rebuilt the Hill’s home and constructed a training facility for the team, the University worked with Hill on a different gift: the creation of the Geneva Boxing Team Scholarship.

On this special evening, the University recognized Jonathan Vazquez as the first recipient of the scholarship. Jonathan is a sophomore majoring in economics and transferred to the University this fall from Finger Lakes Community College. Prior to this event I sat down with Jonathan to talk about his transition to the University:

How are you adjusting to the University of Rochester?

It was intimidating for me at first, coming from a community college to a university.  I knew the work would be more challenging, but so far things have been great.  I am surrounded by intelligent people who are willing to help me.  All of my professors have an “open door policy” so they are available if I need to talk with them. This is my first experience at college life.  I didn’t know how I was going to fit it, but once I got here, it wasn’t an issue.  I’ve made lots of friends and I have even started training other students to box.

How did that happen?

I was boxing in the gym on campus and a student came up to me asking about my workout.  I started training him and then the next thing I know, 1 student turned into 2 and then 3.  So know I train 2 students from China and 1 student from Russia.  The trade-off – help in my Chinese language course…it works out great!

Do you have any advice for other transfer students?

Do what you feel is right for you.  Because I was a little intimidated, I started with 3 classes my first semester.  Now I am completely comfortable with the workload so I am taking 4 classes next semester.  If you are coming from another college, especially a community college, it won’t be a big deal.  As long as you give it your best, you will find success.

Jonathan continues to be active with the boxing team while pursing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Rochester.

The Geneva Boxing team Scholarship provides up to $400,000 in financial aid over a 10-year period to Geneva Boxing Team members who demonstrate a serious commitment to the pursuit of higher education at the University of Rochester. Through the scholarship, Jonathan Vazquez will receive $40,000 toward his college expenses each year.

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