As the summer wraps up and school begins we’ve been sharing the stories of the 11 student athletes who graduated from High School and our NY Academy program this year. Of those 11 students 100% of them graduated on time and 100% are enrolled in college. We’re proud of their accomplishments and will continue to share their progress as they Go Forward!
We caught up with Nyasia, who graduated from The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria and is now enrolled at Bronx Community College to study Biotechnology. In her 3 years of playing rugby she became an influential leader on the Academy squad, often times being the person her teammates would turn to for her willingness to share her knowledge and experience.
While she is currently enrolled at BCC she plans to complete one year of studies there and then transfer to West Point after having been recruited and offered a scholarship by the Army coach. While she hadn’t exactly set out to join the military she is ready to take this opportunity she has to play rugby and help fund her college education.
How did you get into rugby?
I used to play basketball but my school had a rugby team too. They were like, “you’re so quick, you’re fast! You should play for us.” My 10th grade year my [basketball][/basketball] coach said if you want to go to college on a scholarship you have to be able to dunk…but, I’m 5’1” – that’s not happening. So let me just try rugby out.”
What did you think of rugby when you first started?
“I’ve played a lot of sports – rowing, tennis, basketball, everything – and I just didn’t love them as much as I did when I started rugby. It was very different. On the field it’s nonstop, and then off the field – this team is amazing! You laugh, joke, we’re a family. That’s great because I don’t go home to a real close family thing, so the Academy is my everything. I’m definitely going to miss them, but I’m not going anywhere! I’m still going to show up to games and practices when I can.”
Do you have any rugby rituals?
Before games I never sleep, so I have a lot of rugby recorded on my TV so I’ll watch those. It’s good to see different plays, and it helps me come up with my own that work sometimes.
How do you refuel after a game?
Always pasta. It’s my favorite dish, it has been since I was a little kid. So I’m always eating spaghetti at home – any way is fine with me!
What’s your dream job?
Ever since I was six I always wanted to be a veterinarian, so that’s the plan. I have five dogs at home, and it’s just never changed. That’s my dream job definitely.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Nyasia was able to take advantage of the Play Rugby USA pilot program that matched College Mentors with each Academy student to empower them to seek the best educational and athletic opportunities available. We’re excited to continue to build on this program and it’s clear successes in the upcoming school year.