CLEVELAND — St. Ignatius senior Janniel Badeas is set to become the first in his family to attend college. It’s a meaningful accomplishment for which he credits his mother.
“I wouldn’t be going to college or anything without her,” he said. “ There have been times I just wanted to give up and she was like, 'No, don’t give up.'”
The sport of rugby, which he plays at St. Ignatius, helped open the door for Badeas at St. Bonaventure University.
“It’s like money for college I wouldn’t have gotten just from applying to college,” Badeas explained.
Badeas traveled to South Africa with his rugby team and is set to go to Ireland next month. Rugby has given him opportunities that once upon a time were simply fairy tales to him.
“I didn’t have a car until I was nine," Badeas said about his family. "So we would walk all the time.”
Now as he walks proudly into the next chapter of his life, he is happy that his childhood will have the storybook ending that he and his mother worked so hard to make happen.
“We have struggled all of our life,” Badeas said. “Even now we still struggle, but just to put a smile on her face and make her happy, means the world to me.”