Commencement 2016: East Providence native, URI football player, Bible student to graduate in May

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Kingston, R.I, April 12, 2016 – Since he was a little boy, University of Rhode Island senior Robby Delgado always wanted to play football at URI. Whether he was attending games, participating in camps, or meeting the student-athletes, Delgado had his mind set on playing football for the Rams.

Delgado has maintained a 3.0 through four years at URI, and is set to graduate with a bachelor of science in kinesiology in May.

“Academics have always been the most important thing to me when it came to school,” said Delgado. “Growing up, I was always an athlete, but my parents and coaches emphasized that without the grades, football is nothing. I have always strived to be the best I can be in the classroom and on the football field.”

Not that his academic success was without its challenges. On a daily basis during the season, he had to be at team meetings at 6 a.m., followed by film review at 7 a.m. and then team practice from 8 to 11 a.m. After practice he would have class and had to be back in the film room by 5 p.m.

Delgado was recognized for his academic success by being named a Colonial Athletic Association Academic All-Conference selection for four consecutive seasons.

“I was able to maintain my GPA as well as my athletic success by staying disciplined and making sacrifices,” said Delgado. “Sometimes I had to choose to stay in and study instead of going out and hanging with my friends. Trying to balance football with studying and then trying to have somewhat of a social life can be very challenging, but it was always rewarding at the end of the season,” he said.

Delgado’s world has expanded beyond the classroom and the gridiron. As an intern for the South County YMCA, he organizes and implements daily workout routines for children from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. In the morning, before they head to pre-school at the Y, the younger kids learn from Delgado about and participate in cardio exercise.

“Growing up in East Providence, I could have either gone down the good path, or the bad path. I remember being in the park with my friends, and adults in the neighborhood would keep an eye out for me just to make sure I didn’t get into trouble,” said Delgado. “That is what I’m trying to do with these younger kids. It takes two people to make a baby, but a community to raise one. I want to give back and help push these young students to stay in school, and become successful adults,” he said.

Since his sophomore year, Delgado has been a member of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at URI, which provided him with intensive public service and faith experiences.

During spring break a few weeks ago, Delgado traveled to New Orleans where he served people still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. “A lot of the inner-city and black communities still need a lot of work,” said Delgado. “We worked hard for five days on houses to serve God and the people of New Orleans. In my life, I have felt God has granted me the ability to be an athlete, so helping these people in New Orleans is my way of showing the Lord my appreciation,” he said.

Delgado will remain at the University of Rhode Island to pursue a master’s degree in education.

Dom LaFerrera, an intern in the department of Marketing & Communications, and a communications studies major wrote this release.

Photo by Nora Lewis