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College Bound: Tosin Gets a Little Help From Her Friends

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Oluwatosin “Tosin” Akinfeleye lives in Jamaica, NY and attended Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical High School. A life-long soccer player, she played youth soccer for the Kickers of the Cambria Heights Soccer Club, and she dreamed of playing college soccer.

In 2012, I was asked by Cambria Heights S.C. by President, and LIJSL Hall of Famer, Fritz Casimir, to host a college bound player workshop for his club.  I immediately sprang into action and set it up for early in 2013.  At events like these, I like to have actual college coaches in attendance so they can give first-hand accounts of the college playing experience.  With me was Patrick Horne, the women’s head soccer coach at Brooklyn College, and Joe Behan, the men’s head coach at New York University. Both coaches spoke to a packed room of student-athletes and told them how soccer had changed their lives and offered opportunities to them through education.

Tosin and her teammates listened intently, along with club coach Ketterly Germain, a long-time Cambria Heights S.C coach who I knew to be very interested in finding college opportunities through soccer for her players. Tosin was a very good student-athlete in high school, with a desire to major in computer engineering, specifically CAD, which I later found out stood for Computer Aided Design.  It was at this college bound player workshop that I first met Tosin and a number of her teammates, but Tosin was the most interested and dedicated, if not the most persistent in her college search.

Tosin and I developed a very comprehensive list of colleges; all had women’s soccer, all had Tosin’s specific major, and the search began. As time went on, I realized that she did not want to go too far from home, so the search narrowed down to SUNY Old Westbury, Saint Joseph’s College, Monroe College, and CUNY Brooklyn College

I contacted Betty Bohringer, assistant coach at Old Westbury, and Head Coach Craig Newman. Both immediately showed an interest in Tosin and assisted her in the admission process.  In addition, Old Westbury, along with Brooklyn College, was a good fit financially for Tosin and her family, and both were relatively close to home.    

Tosin recently texted me and said “I just wanted to update you, I’m playing for Old Westbury, thank you for never giving up on me, it means so much to me.”  My mantra has always been, and will always be, that “there is a place for everyone to play and study in this great nation that we live in.”

Tosin’s experience is a perfect example of that.   

Pat Grecco is an LIJSL Hall of Famer and the former College Bound Program Director and Scholarship Committee Chairperson for the Long Island Junior Soccer League.  She currently resides in North Carolina and runs her own college recruiting service, The College Bound Athlete.  If you have questions or concerns about your college search, Pat can be a valuable resource.  She can be reached by phone (631 988-7746) or e-mail (soccervol@aol.com), or check out her web site www.collegeboundathlete.com.  

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