Angel Alecia - 2016 ESL Jefferson Award Winner

March 30, 2018 01:29 PM

Angel Alecia came to Rochester 30 years ago from Puerto Rico. He continues to dedicate almost every waking hour to young people in Rochester as a coach and a mentor.

When Angel came to Rochester as a 14-year-old from Puerto Rico, he spoke no English, had no friends, and was not used to cold weather. Baseball gave him a connection. “When I moved here, I faced the language barrier,” Angel says. “I left all my friends in Puerto Rico, it was a new culture, new language and new weather, and everything was new. So I was able to use sports as a guide to continue doing well in school."


Angel continues today, using sports to connect. He's a coach at Monroe, President of the Rochester Hispanic Baseball League and works as a mentor at East High.

Last fall he started the Rochester Volleyball Academy for girls 7th through 12th grade so they could keep up their skills after the school season ended. His program promotes leadership both on and off the court.

“This is to keep them playing to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to in high school,” says Angel. “To make sure they understand the responsibility of being a leader, also in school and also in the community.”

The players really gravitate to Angel. “He is a good coach and is not only a coach, he's our friend.”

“I would like to see more young people participating in sports so they will stay healthy,” Angel says. ”I would like other people who have the skills to be more involved and to volunteer.”


Rebecca Leclair

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