Since arriving at Kenyon, Tony Amolo ’17 has been consumed by travel, transition and transformation. A forward on the Lords soccer team, Amolo was recruited from his home in Lagos, Nigeria. Through the MTN Foundation, he had earned a place at Berkshire School in Massachusetts. After a year there, it was on to Gambier.
“Honestly, my transition was not an easy one,” he said. “Berkshire gave me the academic foundation I needed, and I had an amazing soccer experience there, but I was sad because it only lasted a year. The weather was something I struggled with. It took me a while to acclimatize, but I saw snow for the first time, which was pretty cool.”
Coping with homesickness and fierce weather, Amolo’s transition was eased by Kenyon’s international pre-orientation program and the generosity of his host family.
“It was nice having other international students on the team,” Amolo said. “We were really a diverse team, but the way we play here is very different from the way we play back home or at Berkshire. At Kenyon, we ran a lot and had to lift. I do not know if it’s some American ideology that you have to be big, fast, and strong … even at soccer. I had to adjust certain areas of my game and tried to fit in quickly. I studied my teammates and learned from them. With help, I was able to perform to the best of my ability, compete effectively, and contribute immensely to our success last year.”
Amolo emerged last year as the Lords’ most dangerous offensive threat. He led the squad in goals (11), assists (8), and points (30). He helped steer the team through a deep run in the NCAA tournament and was named 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference newcomer of the year. This season he’s again leading the way in goals (14) and points (33) and has helped boost the Lords into the NCAC championship game for the second time in as many seasons.
He’s become so comfortable at Kenyon that he remained in Gambier during the summer and worked several jobs, including giving campus tours.
“I am happy to be a part of this diverse and caring community,” Amolo added. “I wish to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse practitioner or a professional soccer player, and I believe an outstanding school like Kenyon will help me achieve my aspirations.”