Mentor Helps Football Player Find His Way

High School senior Patrick Sanchez was having trouble at home. His family's resources were low and instead of heading on to college to fulfill his dream of playing football, Patrick was being asked to work to help his family. His Dad had lost his job, his Mom was slowly recovering from cancer, and the future he had envisioned seemed to be getting further from his reach. In frustration, Patrick left home.


A retired NY/NJ Port Authority Police Officer, Steve Pambello, had recently met Patrick through a career mentorship program. Wanting to check up on him, Steve gave him a call and found out Patrick was actually now spending nights, sleeping at his former Union Hill High school football field.

Steve invited Patrick to his home and had him spend the night. The next day, Steve talked to Patrick about what his dreams and goals were. Patrick said he always dreamed of playing football at Rutgers, but his family thought it was unrealistic.

Steve decided he was going to help him make his dreams come true. He told Patrick if he continued to work on his studies, take the SATs, and dedicate his time to working out he would help him. He saw hope in Patrick's eyes. Even though he was as stranger, he felt Patrick was an honest kid, who wasn't lying about this past and the future he wanted.

Since that day, Steve took on some of the financial responsibility for Patrick. He paid for his physical training at one of the top training sports complexes, the New York Sports Science Lab, and has helped him to train smarter, not harder, and to develop a positive mental approach.

"Once we came here, we were amazed," Patrick recalled. "The knowledge, the people, how they welcomed me….like a champion. It was perfect."

Mike Greene, a trainer at the New York Sports Science Lab, has rarely come across someone with Patrick's drive. "Every coaches dream is to have a kid that when no one is looking, is putting in the hard work that is ultimately needed to become an elite level athlete," he reflected. "Pat has those skills. There is no drag in Pat in the gym."

Patrick worked hard in the gym and on his studies, took the SAT's, and got good scores. He applied to Rutgers and was accepted. His next challenge is preparing for the walk-on tryout with the many others striving to be a part of this Division 1 Football Program.

For Steve, Patrick's long journey from those nights sleeping on the football field have filled him with pride and that special joy of seeing someone turn their life around. "My guess is that when he runs out on that field, I'm going to feel like the parent of the son I never had."

Learn more at: https://www.sportsciencelab.com/

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