When Daniel Rodriguez arrived at Chicago Bulls College Preparatory High School, he wasn’t a top student, he wasn’t the most athletic, and he was afraid of public speaking.
But he knew he “needed to improve in a lot of areas and was never afraid to do so,” says Jason Ronai, assistant principal at Chicago Bulls College Prep.
Now Rodriguez is headed to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and has taken the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course.
“CrossFit found its way in because I just needed,” Rodriguez starts, and then continues, “It helped me find confidence in my work, confidence in myself.”
His mother, Debbi Skinner, notes that her son is motivated and passionate—and he’s also the first person in her family to earn a college scholarship.
“He lives his life to make other people better,” Ronai explains. “He’s thinking of his family at all times. He’s thinking about what he can do for this world based on the challenges that he gives himself.”
Ronai is right: Rodriguez has already challenged himself to teach CrossFit to his peers on campus.
Video by Mike Koslap.
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Additional reading: Daniel Rodriguez’s Big Win by Chris Cooper, published Nov. 26, 2013.