“Rochester Promise” kept: Wilson’s Owen Gabbey, three time RCAC player of the year, gains scholarship to the University of Rochester

“Rochester Promise” kept: Wilson’s Owen Gabbey, three time RCAC player of the year, gains scholarship to the University of Rochester

Owen at Cobb’s Hill


• May 27, 2014

A couple of weeks ago when the Rochester City Athletic Conference baseball coaches met at the Sticky Lips on Culver, they cast a notable ballot.  For the first time in the history of the Player of the Year award, there is a three peat winner, Wilson’s Owen Gabbey.

As a stellar two way player, during the regular season Owen hit .529 with 36 runs, 40 RBIs, 9 triples, 9 doubles to go along with 4-1 pitching record, a 1.80 era in 35 innings with 45 strikeouts and only 6 walks. Last season, he had a .571 batting average with 46 RBI and a 7-2 pitching record and 1.81 ERA.  In 2012, he batted .353 with 16 runs, 16 RBI, 4 doubles, 4 triples, and a 4-5 record with one save and 57 strikeouts. In addition, over the course of his career, Owen has been recognized as Most Improved Player of the Year, won multiple sportsmanship awards, and was the D & C Boys Athlete of the Week this May.

Owen Gabbey-Rochester Promise-page0001 owen

Pitching vs. East at Genesee Valley Park

Gaudy stats indeed.  Enough to land Owen a spot on next year’s University of Rochester baseball team where, as told to me by Head Coach Joe Reina, Owen will be the first RCSD graduate to play for the Yellowjackets in quite a long time.  (For more on Owen’s 2013 season see: Wilson’s Owen Gabbey; two time baseball player of the year whose family believes in city schools )

Owen’s coach, Ron Cavuoto knows the numbers.  But if you ask Ron, he’ll first rattle off some academic stats: 5.44 weighted GPA and a 3.87 unweighted GPA; Member of the National HonorSociety; enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program; in the Masterminds Club.

Owen has displayed the true definition of a scholar athlete; not only has he succeeded on the field but consistently in the classroom for his entire high school career.

Owen Gabbey-Rochester Promise-page0001 ron

Owen and Coach Ron Cavouto

Ultimately, perhaps Owen’s greatest accomplishment was receiving one of UofR’s prestigious, but to me under recognized, Rochester Promise Scholarships. I say under recognized because as I travel throughout the District not enough promising students are fully aware of the program. Owen himself says he knew “it was always on the table” — a nice motivator.

Since its launching 2007, more than 70 City graduates like Owen have taken advantage of the program, which guarantees any graduate of City high schools at least $100,000 in sponsored scholarships to attend the University’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. Under the Rochester Promise, students receive tuition assistance that–when added to government, University, or other grants for which they are eligible–equals full tuition for up to four years of enrollment. The four-year estimated value of each award will range from $145,000 to $192,000. Those numbers should draw any student’s attention.

According to Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions and financial aid :

The first goal of the Promise is to assure students in City schools today that their hard work in earning admission to college will also earn them the financial support they require to succeed here at the University of Rochester.

The second goal is to ensure that dozens of young Rochester citizens recognize the University of Rochester as one of the nation’s best universities, but also as their neighborhood college.


Owen driving ball to right against Monroe at Cobbs Hill

Its a win-win all around.  Congrats to Owen. Kudos to UofR for keeping the promise.


About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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