To my brother Robert

Sophomore Nicole Velez writes a heartfelt farewell to her graduating brother.


Nicole Velez, Staff Writer

To my brother: Robert

The last year has been tough on the entire world, and I’ve seen it firsthand, especially when spending the past summer interning at a local pediatrician’s office. But someone who never stopped working, believing, and doing all he could to better himself was my brother: Robert.
I have had the honor of being born into a family where I became the younger sister for two older brothers. And although I appreciate and love my other older brother, Brian, it was Robert who taught me to love education in a way I thought impossible. Robert taught me to count, to read, to write, before teachers did- he shaped who I am today. Even when he didn’t want to, while I was at JMMES, he checked over my homework every single night- it was something small, but a “something” I will never forget. I wholeheartedly believe it was his early foundation and efforts that ensured my success. I owe my achievements and happiness to him.
During what seemed like an endless quarantine, Robert gave me hope. He showed me perseverance in the rawest form. And besides always being keen and open to listening to all my problems- whether it be “girly” ones or difficult educational choices- he was always there. Robert was, and continues to be, everything I want to be.
One of the most impressive things about Robert is his commitment and success as an athlete. Others may not see what I see, but I have seen pain, sweat, tears, and a determination that is unbreakable.
Robert realized that he was too short to be a successful soccer player by his sophomore year. It was a disadvantage that could make anyone want to quit. But his love and loyalty to his sport, team, and coach made quitting impossible. He finished his junior soccer season with a prestigious award for his efforts as a soccer player alongside three other players from East Hampton- where coaches from other teams nominate players they felt “stood out” for the awards. And then he managed to win the Most Improved Player Award, given to him by his beloved coach and second-father, Mr. McGovern. But it wasn’t enough for Robert, and he kept striving for the best.
This year, he was able to help lead the school team, even with a modified soccer season, to a place in ranks they haven’t reached for over five years! And once again, he’s been nominated for an award. He deserves the world, and like the hard worker that he is, the world he will have. It will be a bittersweet “goodbye” come August, but Johns Hopkins University is as good as home as any for the next four years. Thank you, Robert, and good luck!

Much Love,
Your sister, Nicole.