Persistence is Key: Roburt Welch Jr. is Clarkson University
Bound on an Academic Scholarship
By Gregory L. Gamble II
This fall, Roburt Welch Jr. will be attending Clarkson University on a Full Academic Scholarship to study Electrical Engineering. Welch, a product of St. Francis High School, where he participated in track as a high, long and triple jumper and basketball as a starting small forward, will also be playing basketball at Clarkson University under Head Coach Jeff Gorski.
Welch is the epitome of what it means to be a student-athlete. He has defied odds on and off of the court. On the court, Roburt Welch Jr. helped lead St. Francis High School to the Manhattan Cup Final for the first time since 2007, the first regular season title in the Monsignor Martin Association since 2000, and the school's first ever #1 local ranking for a period during the regular season.
Off of the court and in the classroom, Welch looks to join an elite group. According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2016 there were a total of 293 employed minority (Black/African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino) electrical engineers in the country. Of those 293 employed electrical engineers, 7.5 percent or 22 employed electrical engineers were African American or Black.
With all of Welch’s success, it would be natural to assume he’s just a gifted young man who’s been provided the necessary resources. Don’t be fooled. Hard work and persistence is what has gotten Welch to this point in his life along with unwavering support from his mother and father.
After Welch’s sophomore season at St. Francis High School, he decided he wanted to take his basketball game to the next level. He began training with Odds2Beat, Inc. and Eurowe Training, two of the city’s finest basketball skill development companies, to develop his game individually. His coaching staff at St. Francis, which consists of Head Coach Brian Ferris and assistant coach Antwan Anderson, pushed Welch to accept a bigger role on the team and set their expectations high for Welch. With the elevation of his basketball game, Welch was passionately warned with urgency that his academics must match his basketball aspirations. When asked what was some of his greatest challenges as a student-athlete at St. Francis, Welch stated that some of his biggest development pieces were maturity and discipline. “I had to grow up and mature. I learned from people who came before me. I had to learn how to take criticism. I had to increase my IQ on and off of the court.” Welch stated that he struggled with Chemistry and Geometry his sophomore year and decided that he didn’t want to struggle anymore so he made changes. “I had to study everyday! Normally, I could cruise through school, but the teachers expectations at St. Francis were high and I realized that in order to be successful, studying hard needed to be a priority.”
Welch’s advice for the student-athletes looking to follow in his footsteps, “Never give up, no matter how hard it could be. You never know where working hard could get you.” He then added specifically to basketball players, “Don’t use basketball as a way out. Use basketball as a tool.”
What can we expect from Welch at Clarkson academically and athletically? “I’m going to push myself in everything that I do. Clarkson is a tough school and it wont be easy but I’ll keep developing.”
Welch thanks his mother, Leticia Otis, and father, Robert Welch Jr., for their support and putting him through school at St. Francis. He is extremely grateful and glad to have had the opportunity to play at such a high level in high school.
Roburt Welch Jr. has left us all astonished with his recent accomplishments. I speak on behalf of all of Western New York when I say, Roburt we are behind you! You’ve Got Odds2Beat!
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