RCS student accepts swimming scholarship to Canisius College

The RCS District continues to share the academic and athletic accomplishments of its students. To begin the year on a positive note, we are sharing the recent announcement by RCS Senior Megan Buzas on her decision to accept a Division I scholarship to Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. See how she created her own pathway to becoming a scholar athlete and what she found within herself to be successful.

What sports will you be competing in at college?

I’ll be competing on the Division I Women's Swim team at Canisius College.

What are your thoughts on how RCS has prepared you academically and athletically for a Division I school?

I have worked hard with Mrs. McGillycuddy. She has taught me how to work on advocating for myself, and she believes in me with her whole heart. She reminds me every day that I am capable of greatness, and she supports me academically so I can reach my goals. Mrs. Doerr has also shown me that great things are possible through hard work, determination, and belief in yourself. I have dyslexia and visual processing challenges, and school does not always come easy to me, but Mrs. McGillycuddy and Mrs. Doerr has taught me to keep pushing through, even when it is hard. They remind me of my intelligence and skills every day, and they remind me to continue to be a good person.

I have gotten the chance to work with Kyle Kearney, RCS Aquatics Director, Pam Ginder, RCS Modified Swimming Coach, and most of all, Josh Wolin, RCS Diving Coach and Head Coach for the Albany Starfish. They have each supported my swimming aspirations. Josh Wolin has gone above and beyond to mentor me. Not only have I shaved time in every single event under his leadership, but I also learned to swim with confidence and to take risks in the water. Coach Josh spends hours with his swimmers, 7 days a week, and he gives every swimmer individual attention. He cares, and he inspires me to be at my best.  I get up at 4 in the morning to make it to 5 AM practices, and Coach Josh is ready and waiting when I get there. I go back for my second practice at 8 PM, and Coach Josh is still there. He is always ready to push me in the water, but he also reminds me to be a good person. He coaches the person first and the swimmer second. I am going to work as hard as I can at Canisius College because Coach Josh deserves nothing less.

What classes or specific teachers led you to the direction of your college selection process?

I was lucky enough to have Dr. Bonafide in 10th and 11th grade. She taught me that all things are possible, and she encouraged me to reach for big goals. Currently, I have Mrs. Cobb for College Writing, and we work together on plans and goal setting for college success. Mr. Dwyer and Mrs. McGillycuddy helped me to complete my Common App. As soon as coaches started contacting me two summers ago, my parents have helped me to stay in contact with any program I thought I may participate in, and they brought me to visit various colleges. Because NCAA Division I is in a dead period due to COVID-19, visits looked different, but my parents took me everywhere I wanted to go, and they helped me to narrow my choices. Canisius College has a beautiful campus, and a strong swim program. The coach is very supportive, and he makes me feel like a welcomed member of his team. I cannot wait to start.

What pathway would you share with current RCS students to be successful?

Don’t ever give up.  Set goals for yourself and share those goals with your teachers. Speak up, and let them know when you need their support to meet your goals, and they will help you. Join clubs, music, or sports, and work hard at whatever you do. Apply to colleges early. Many waive their application fees and give early admissions scholarships. Work with your guidance counselor to find even more scholarships, and keep pushing, even when it gets really hard.