Posted May 20, 2008

Athletic training grad turns troubles into triumph

Bachelor of science: kinesiology

Photo by Kelly & Massa

After persevering through childhood troubles, Ramon Cintron put himself through college — a first in his family — and found success as a kinesiology major. Cintron, who was named outstanding senior by the Department of Kinesiology, will receive a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis in athletic training, on May 22.

One would think Ramon Cintron’s childhood — losing his parents as a baby, moving 14 times and attending 10 different schools — would stand in the way of his achievement and success in adulthood. But the 25 year-old Temple University student, named outstanding senior by the Department of Kinesiology, is graduating this year with honors and a very bright future.

“Ramon has a tremendous work ethic and has demonstrated the best in Temple. He has had the odds stacked against him his entire life, but made the decision to not allow it to determine his future,” said Dani Moffit, one of Ramon’s professors and the undergraduate athletic training program director.

Ramon’s parents passed away within a 10-month period of each other when he was 2 years old. His grandmother took care of him until, five years later, she could no longer do so. Things stabilized in high school when he moved in with his sister’s father. Ramon, who has worked since he was 16, graduated from Northeast High School’s medical, engineering and science magnet program with a 3.8 GPA and put himself through college — a first in his family. On May 22, he will receive a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis in athletic training from Temple’s College of Health Professions.

“People cared about me, so I wasn’t neglected. It was just hard growing up without parents,” said Ramon. “Being able to face adversity has made me a stronger person.”

Ramon went above and beyond the 1,200 hours of field experience required of students in the athletic training program, working with Temple football, track and field, and women’s soccer, as well as Philadelphia Biblical University baseball and tennis.

Athletic training melds Ramon’s desire to work in the health field with his love of sports. Working hands-on with athletes and patients, seeing them progress from injury back to normal functioning, made him realize he wanted ultimately to become a physician’s assistant. He’s already taken the prerequisite courses and is awaiting word from a Pennsylvania program to which he’s applied.

If that doesn’t work out, plan B is an internship in athletic training with the Kansas City Chiefs, an opportunity he learned about from a professor at Temple.

Ramon attributes the lion’s share of his success to the nurturing network of mentors and colleagues he built while at Temple.

“I find in life it’s who you know,” said Ramon. “The whole athletic training staff at Temple helped mold me into who I am today. It’s like a family. They really care about where you’re headed.”

But Moffit, his professor, believes much of Ramon’s success comes from within.

“He has a silent leadership quality that just comes through,” she said. “He will excel because he is empathetic and can relate to all people on all levels, and he is very deserving of any recognition that he receives.”