HEADstrong recently receive a thoughtful letter from the mother of a high school student whose life has been forever changed. The memory of Nick and the inspiration of his relentless attitude motivated this bright young man throughout his high school career. As such, he found it only fitting to center his college entrance essay to The University of Virgina around Nick and what the word relentless means to him.
Below is his original essay, unedited.
Relentless is much more than a word; it is an attitude and a way of life. In late 2006, Hofstra lacrosse player Nick Colleluori died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 21. His family and friends set up the HEADstrong Foundation in his honor to build awareness and to raise funds for lymphoma research. The motto of this incredible organization is “Relentless,” commemorating Nick’s positive attitude and the unyielding intensity with which he battled cancer, played lacrosse and lived his life. At the beginning of my 2007 lacrosse season, our team adopted the word relentless to honor Nick’s memory. We also set a goal to raise money for the HEADstrong Foundation over the course of that season. Our coach encouraged us to attack our opponents on the field, our schoolwork in the classroom, and the obstacles we faced in our daily lives in a relentless manner.
Reflecting back, I realize now that as a young freshman in 2007 I had not yet reached a level of maturity to fully grasp the meaning of the word relentless and the profound impact it would have on my life. At that point relentless was just a word we shouted to break our huddles on and we printed on the back of our team shirts.
Now after three seasons with this motto, the word has redefined the way I think and act. I empathize more with the tragedy of Nick’s early death and Iam more motivated to live each day with relentless attitude, effort and focus.