For second year, a Brooklyn College student wins free tuition from CUNYAC program.

Getting Paid to Watch them Play

Aug. 20, 2014

Rodriguez hopes to use her prize to help pay for graduate school.  

Lisenia Rodriguez '14 has always been a sports enthusiast. The former women’s volleyball player already attended many of the college's games because she has friends on several of the teams. So when she found out that she could be eligible to win an assortment of prizes just by going to more games, she jumped on it and ended up with a year of free tuition at a CUNY school.

"I am so grateful for this award," says Rodriguez a physical education and adaptive physical education major who is hoping she can apply the prize to graduate studies. "It was truly unexpected."

The CUNY Athletic Conference, known as the CUNYAC, last year began their StudentsFirstRewards Program, an initiative to create greater participation in CUNY athletic competitions. Students accumulate points by attending post-season games and can win prizes like electronic gadgets. The grand prize, for the student with the most points, is the year of free tuition. Officials credit the program with increasing participation in CUNYAC championship games. Attendance nearly doubled at the men's and women's soccer semifinals and finals this past year.

Rodriguez, the second Brooklyn College student to win the top prize in the two years it has been offered, says she attended nearly every CUNYAC game in the final and semi-final rounds last year except for those for cross country. A City College of New York student also won free tuition while other students won prizes, such as tablets and mp3s.

"I really enjoyed supporting all of the schools at the games," says Rodriguez, who also won the CUNYAC sportsmanship award last season. "It gave me a real sense of pride."

Rodriguez is planning to be a teacher and hopes to attend either Brooklyn College or Hunter College for graduate school.

"It's great that out of all the participants, Lisenia was the winner," says Bruce Filosa, Brooklyn College’s director of recreation, intramurals, and intercollegiate athletics. "I admire her ability to be able to balance her academic and athletic commitments while also attending these events in support of fellow CUNYAC student-athletes."


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