Author: gentlemanpartito

Ode to Life

Ode to Life

As I’ve gotten closer to the reality of life without a fixed direction, I’ve come to the realization that not only does that scare me, but it also drives me to find something to live for. Whether I place my faith in god or I find an alternative passion to place my mind in, I believe I need something so I can stay on track without the fear of dying into oblivion. As college creeps around the corner for me, I can’t help but think to myself what will I be doing in the future and how will I get there. As all of these fears and questions rattle around in my head, I have noticed an epiphany of sorts that has changed the way I think quite drastically.


I came to the conclusion that not only is there no purpose to living in fear, but most of all that it holds me back. So many times I have worried about the angst of life and what it may bring to me in the future, but what that unease has done for me is allow me to come to a new conclusion. That old found fear has garnered me a new found love for life. I’ve come to know that life isn’t about the fear and isn’t about whether I please my mother, father or my friends. What life is truly about, in my opinion, is living it out to the fullest of my ability while enjoying it as much as I can. If I worry about what grade I will get so I can get into a college, or what my friends will think of me if I act or dress a certain way, then I will truly not be living. I honestly and whole heartedly believe that what you put out into the world will always come back to you. So if I put forth an honest showing of myself while enjoying life with a positive outlook than all things will come to me in time. If I work hard in school without the worry of a grade then I believe that a good grade will come to me. If the act in the way I feel is right, then I believe that those who are truly meant to be my friends will rise above those who criticize me. This new found positivity has allowed me to have a re-focus and pay closer attention to what truly matters to me in life.


A new honest viewing of life didn’t only give me the opportunity to pursue my creative goals in a more passionate way, it also gave me multiple options in life in which I could pursue. Previously, I looked at life as boxes that needed to be checked, but now I perceive life as an open place where I can achieve anything as long as I have a passion for it, and for that, I am grateful to what I believe is the true meaning of life.

My Best Friend-My Idol

My Best Friend-My Idol

After writing my first two blogs, I realized I picked two famous people. When I’m asked, “who’s your role model?” I quickly think of a famous person. Everyone including myself automatically thinks of public figures. When I sat down to write this piece on someone who I admire, I decided to choose someone who I personally know and who is dear to me. This person is my friend and who has impressed me from the first time I met him. His name is Aaron Schwartz. Aaron Schwartz was initially born in South Korea. He was then adopted by a Jewish Family who lives in Berwyn, PA. Aaron currently lives in Berwyn, PA with his parents and sister. From a very young age, soccer grew on Aaron and became his sport. Soccer evolved to be his life and passion. At the age of five, Aaron played on his first soccer team. He played for a team called Teysa from the age of five to eight years old. He then switched to FC Europa. Aaron continued his soccer career at FC Europa up until the age of thirteen. During the latter years, the Philadelphia Union observed and selected Aaron to be in their youth development system called Union Juniors. Bigger doors eventually opened up for Aaron, but hold on the story doesn’t end here…


Aaron Schwartz was then selected to be a part of the first soccer academic college preparatory school called YSC Academy. YSC is the Philadelphia Union High School in Wayne, PA. YSC Academy is a private academic school combined with world-class soccer training led by Union Academy staff. A big reason why Aaron attended YSC Academy was because the Philadelphia Union Academy coaches lead him to believe he was going to be selected for the Union U-14 team. Then politics came into play. The decision makers went a different route, someone other than Aaron. Aaron was not selected to play for the Union Academy. He was arguably the best goalkeeper for his age but he wasn’t chosen to be part of the Union Team. Aaron was really disappointed when he found out he didn’t make the team. When Aaron and others were given the news about to making the Union Academy, Aaron reacted differently than the others.  Some players cried and acted like it was the end of the world but Aaron took it as I’m going to prove them wrong. Aaron decided he was going to show them that this decision was not going to stop him reach his goals. Playing or not playing for the Union was not going to define him as a soccer player.  Their decision could not take away all of his hard work, discipline, and skills.  Aaron was not going to allow their decision to end his soccer career. For these reasons, this is why I look up to Aaron so much. Aaron is an extremely determined kid. Aaron never gives up when an unexpected turn in this crazy soccer world gets presented to him. When he’s presented a  setback, he continues to stand tall and keeps his focus towards his goals. That’s something I admire and love about Aaron.  After Aaron didn’t make the Union Academy he knew he had to switch teams to find a better fit for himself. Aaron then made an intelligent decision to move to Continental Academy, who is rivals with the Philadelphia Union Academy.


Even though Aaron felt Continental was a good choice for him, it didn’t start out so easy with this Academy team. Aaron was the better goalkeeper for the team but he was new to the team. The goalkeeper who started ahead of him was a player who was with the coaches for a long time so the coaches favored this goalkeeper over Aaron. The coach had a lot of favorites on the team and the goalkeeper who started over Aaron was one of them. This did not stop nor slow down Aaron.  Aaron held his head high and never gave up.  He decided to work harder than anyone else on the team even the field players. An example that shows how hard Aaron worked was his physical makeup. He was extremely fit and especially for a goalkeeper. Aaron was always top three when we did fitness assessments. He always made sure he finished before the other goalkeeper but even in front of most field players. This is another reason why I look up to Aaron so much. He endured many setbacks but never gave up and the only worker harder to prove to coaches his skills were great and he would earn his keep as a starter goalkeeper. Later on, in the season, the coaches realized Aaron was much better skilled and hard working goalkeeper than the other player. Aaron’s coaches finally gave him his chance to be a starter. Aaron took opportunities that were given to him and made the best out of them. He had a terrific season and committed to Dartmouth College. His determination and work ethics on and off the pitch paid off. Aaron has nothing but a bright and prosperous future ahead.

I would like to take this time to thank YSC Academy for providing me with the opportunity meeting Aaron Schwartz my best friend my idol. Meeting Aaron in 2013 has changed my life. Aaron is a genuine person who is kind, passionate, and determined. Through his experiences, I have learned that life sometimes doesn’t go exactly the way you have planned or deserved. Through perseverance, commitment, and discipline you can reach your goals. No one, No coach, can take what’s in your heart, your skills, and your passion away from you. Aaron Schwartz is one great kid who is going to go so far in life. He is a determined young man who is extremely intelligent. I could be saying all of this because he is my best friend but I truly mean it!


My Idol- Michael Jordan

My Idol- Michael Jordan

Who is Michael Jordan? Well, if you don’t already know who Michael Jordan is you must live in a box. Anyway, Michael Jordan is known as one of the best basketball players in the world, also known as the super-duper-star guard for the Chicago Bulls. Jordan was a 6’6″ guard with a magnificent shot, strong defensive skills, and a competitive killer instinct. Michael Jordan was born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he highlighted his athletic career by playing basketball, baseball, and football. Michael then continued his career at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1981-1984. Jordan won the NCAA Championship in 82′ following with ACC rookie of the year in 82′. In Jordan’s last year of college, he won two important awards, ACC Athlete of the year, and ACC Men’s Basketball Player of the year. After Jordan’s college career he went into the 1984 NBA Draft; Jordan was picked third by the Chicago Bulls. That day was the day the NBA had changed. Michael Jordan won a ton of accomplishments in his NBA career. He won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award five times and led the Chicago Bulls to the league championship six times. Michael Jordan led the Bulls to his first three championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Jordan and the Bulls then won three more championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Jordan made himself a well-known basketball player and will always be remembered as the GOAT.


Michael Jordan is my Idol for many reasons, such as he’s a tremendous athlete, he never gave up, he always strived and chased after success and excellence. There’s one story in particular that allows me to look up to Michael Jordan. We know Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time, but he didn’t start out at the top. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Michael Jordan was 5’10 and the head coach had told him he wasn’t tall enough to play varsity. That didn’t stop Jordan from becoming who he has become today. The reason I truly connect with this story is because I went through a similar situation like this before. I was in the process of trying out/ making the

In 2013-2014 I started YSC Academy as an 8th grader. I was in the Union Junior Academy for 5 years. The steps I had planned for myself was to attend YSC Academy and be recruited for the Philadelphia Union Academy . I attended many training sessions to be looked at and I thought it was all going well and received some positive feedback. I thought I was in the process of  making it. The Philadelphia Union Academy picked 18 kids and took them to Qatar to play in an international tournament. I was part of the 18 kids who were selected. When I found out I had been selected I was extremely happy but I knew I had to play well in the games to make the team. I ended up starting in both games and playing every minute. I played great and had two assist. I was extremely confident I was going to make the team but then on June 6th everything went downhill. I had a meeting with the two Union coaches to find out I didn’t make it. After I heard this terrible news I was destroyed.

My experience made me rethink all of my decisions, why I chose to attend YSC Academy and if I wanted to continue playing soccer.  It wasn’t until speaking to my parents specifically my father to  realize Jordan experienced a similar situation that I was going through. Many days, nights, weeks that turned into months I was contemplating what does my future hold and who makes those decisions. I thought about the various goals I had and how would they be achieved. What steps did I have to take in stages to get to where I wanted to be. So I made some short term goals and long term goals. I decided to not allow what happened to me to determine my future. I decided to work harder. I kept telling myself “I have got to prove them wrong”. Every practice and every scrimmage, I have to approach them as if it was my last time touching the soccer ball. It wasn’t until months later that I believed everything happened for a reason and God was testing me, just like how he tested Michael Jordan. I decided I was going to take control of my future.jordanlaney

Situations happen in life. The goals and paths we design for ourselves sometimes get derailed without our permission. Ultimately no one can control the outcome of your future but yourself. A Michael Jordan quote that I live by is “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”  This quote can relate to anything. When I first read this quote I thought about courage. To me it’s all about what you’re willing to do, putting in the time and hard work, to be the best. It’s not about giving up once you fail, but how you’re going to keep on trying and not give up until you succeed. I believe that is how champions are made! My parents shared a more religious and spiritual quote with me when I experienced my let down in soccer and now I would like to share it with you. “God is getting you prepared right now for something bigger than you ever imagined, something more rewarding than you ever dreamed. If you’ll keep honoring Him, being a person of excellence and prophesying victory, you’re going to see it all come together.”




My Idol

My Idol

Who is my idol? Let me tell you about my idol, his name is Raimondo Partito. He is a custom tailor known as Raymond Partito. When he immigrated to America he wanted to Americanize his name so he could fit it and not stand out. Raymond Partito is my grandfather from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised by his parents Giuseppe and Vincenza Partito. Up until the age of 6, he lived in Palermo, Sicily until the war had caused him to move to a small town called Casteltermini. His father Giuseppe thought it was best to move to the small town because of the bombings that were happening at that time. He attended school until the 6th grade. He stopped going to school because there was no more schooling after the 6th grade. With the limited education he was offered the next step was to go to work. He had no choice but to find a job. My grandfather Raymond found an apprenticeship for tailoring. This is where it all began for him. At the age of seven to the age of 20 he learned, gained, and developed the skills needed for the art of tailoring. He was not paid a salary but he was learning from the best how to be a great tailor. If and when my grandfather did a satisfactory job his master would give him some small monetary  tips but that was it in terms of his financial earnings. His rewards, his gains, his salary so to speak gaining the knowledge and skills to be a great tailor.

At the age of 20 he moved to Sicily with my grandmother Maria Rose Partito and began working for the best tailor in Sicily. At the age of 31, doors started to finally open for my grandfather. He won the Fondazione Maestrelli gold medal in Palermo, Sicily. This medal signifies high level talent and is recognized as a prestigious award for being the best tailor in Palermo. There was a first place, second place, and third place. He won the gold medal. After he started accomplishing many things in Palermo he decided to move to America to give his family a better life. He had one daughter, my aunt, whose name is Vincenza Partito. He knew moving to America would afford his family a lifetime of opportunities.

When my grandfather moved to America he had a job already secured for him. A friend of my grandmother had a connection with a tailoring company. When he came off the boat from Italy he had a friend named Guiermo Arici who hosted him and took care of him until he could secure a house. My grandfather had then saved up his money to purchase a home and opened up his very own tailor shop located at 1315 Walnut Street in Center City Philadelphia. When my grandfather had settled into his home and office he started focusing own how to make better high quality suits that were long lasting for clients. It takes my grandfather anywhere from 40 hours and no longer than two weeks to make one suit. He became well known for making suits that last. His handmade suits can and have lasted for 15 or 20 years. Over the years my grandfather has made a name for himself. He has been interviewed and published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and by the Philadelphia Magazine.  He has made suits for prominent people such as Victor Damone– who is a well-known singer, Sylvester Stallone– who is an Oscar award-winning actor, and many other successful businessmen.

I admire Raymond Partito because he is a self-made successful businessman who has brought countless memories to my entire family through his talent and hard work. His commitment and dedication has allowed my family to enjoy our summer months at the Margate shore in New Jersey and numerous vacations abroad. The family traditions and his Italian culture bring peace and joy to me and my family whether it is at a holiday dinner or at a Sunday gathering. He is always teaching us the value of hard work, love, and that there is nothing more important in life than family.