March 22nd 2013
When Michael Lovaglio, UrbanPromise Academy English teacher, passed along Carlos Garcia's personal statement, he described the essay as "spectacular." We couldn't agree more. The following are the two opening paragraphs from the UrbanPromise Academy senior's essay:
I love to train. When I am working the heavy bag it is not just my body sweating out physical toxins, but my mind too is sweating – shedding – out all of my daily stresses. Stress over how to provide for my family. Stress over whether or not to finally accept the dealer’s offer to begin to sell on my block. Stress over the murder of loved ones, and fear over who could be lost next. All of this weighs on me throughout the day, the choices, the anxiety. It is when I get to the gym, wrap my hands, put on the gloves, and begin to hit the bag that the added weight begins to trickle down. Though I am leaning into the bag with every hit, I feel taller than before I walked through the gym doors.
According to Mohammad Ali, one of the brightest and bravest American fighters both in and out of the ring, “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them – a desire, a dream, a vision.” I love this quote because anyone can work out in the gym, but to be a champion takes leadership and hard, dripping, work. Champions feel the passion of our craft. What first started out as a seemingly implausible idea, maybe only a feeling, soon developed into a vision. My vision of being a champion has saved me, helping to shape me into a better, stronger, more reliable person – the person I am today.