Friday, December 19, 2014

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Attention teachers, administrators, counselors and coaches: Do you know a student who excels in the classroom and on the playing field? Nominate them to be a Ford Lincoln of Queens NY1 Scholar Athlete by following the directions below.

Joseph Nelzy: Three-Sport Athlete Pursues His Goals Head-First

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This week's NY1 Scholar Athlete of the Week is always on the move, whether it's playing three sports or helping others in his community. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.

For as long as he can remember, school and sports have been Joseph Nelzy's main focus.

"When I was young, my mother always gave me two things basically - just books and a soccer ball," said Nelzy.

While Nelzy may have had an early start, those who know the Abraham Lincoln High School senior say that is not the only reason for his success in both fields.

"He's an all-inclusive, well-rounded individual that's going to always strive to be bigger and brighter," said Felix Ramos, Dean of Students.

"I always refer to Joseph as being what every student athlete wants to be. Respectful in the classroom, works hard," said Chris Vega, varsity soccer coach.

Originally from Haiti, Nelzy moved to New York in 2008, teaching himself English through books and TV. Today, he is an A-student at the top of his class.

"He takes the AP classes, he takes the most rigorous courses that the school has to offer," said Ramos.

"He's always on top of his work, always one of the first people to volunteer to give an answer," said Chaunda Brooks, a physics teacher.

Nelzy is a three-sport athlete on the track, wrestling and soccer teams. And while he is a star player, his coach believes his best contributions can't be seen on a scoreboard.

"He's always been kind of a leader within our school community and on the field, he started taking on that leadership role, as well," said Vega.

"It's like a sense of family on the field. When we win, it's just a very good feeling, but also when we lose sometimes, you got to support your family," said Nelzy.

Nelzy's leadership can also be seen in his extracurricular activities, which include community-service oriented clubs like the National Honor Society and the Key Club.

"You have to basically think about the people around you. You can't just say, well I can't do this because I'm going to be tired later, but you have to say, if I don't do this for them, then who's going to do it for them?" said Nelzy.

One of Nelzy's favorite volunteer projects is tutoring young students. He plans to study biology in college to work towards a career in pediatric medicine.

"I just feel like kids, they're just amazing," said Nelzy.

So, for never being afraid to pursue his goals head-first, Joseph Nelzy is NY1's Scholar Athlete of the Week. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP