student Spotlight

July Student Spotlight with Oscar Bruce, BSPA '17

July 17 Student Spotlight

From class to boxing to acting as a legislative aide, Oscar Bruce embodies the spirit of the Marxe School through pedagogy, community involvement, and work ethic. We talk about the “sweet science” of boxing, its parallels to being a legislative aide, the BSPA program, and more.

As part of the New York State Senate Student Programs You recently participated in the 2017 Model Legislative Session. Can you talk about that experience?
The Senate student program gave me an inside look to the inner workings of government at the state level. The ‘Raise the Age’ legislation passed and I was there to witness the process of implementing such a life-changing bill. On a personal, level this internship gave me the opportunity to live on my own and pay all the bills myself.  Although it was very tough I enjoyed the experience and getting a tasted of life on my own. The New York State senate Student Program forced me out of my comfort zone and I am grateful for that.

For three years, running you achieved impressive boxing titles. How did you become interested in the sport? Do you see any parallels between preparing for a fight and working as a Legislative Aide in the New York State Senate? 
Boxing became a passion of mine and I fell in love with it. I started boxing just to lose weight. After High school, I gained 80 pounds and was 300 pounds. Boxing gave me direction and helped me get myself together mentally. Before I knew it, I was competing and winning tournaments. I love to learn and I wanted to be the best I could possibly be at the “sweet science”, and the closest parallel to legislative aide is the ability to always learn something new. Also, there were opportunities to set goals.  During my years boxing I would set a daily goal to run “X” miles a day and as a legislative aide I set goals like writing “X” amount of bill memorandums. Both are challenging but I enjoyed it.

What is the most vital thing you’ve learned in the BSPA program? How will you apply it to your career?
Simple answer: the BSPA strengthened my belief in myself. Never again will I doubt myself because I have experienced things that built so much confidence within me. In the future I will trust that my good intentions coupled with my desire to inspire people will lead me on the right path and always fight out of your comfort zone. BSPA has shown me that going against the grain actually works out when you believe in yourself.