Fall 2018 Proud Grad – Jose Perez Combines Nursing and Boxing to Promote Community
Jose Perez is a South Florida transplant who has proven that if you dare to dream and remain determined, nothing is impossible. Jose, 36, a single father of two young girls, is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing after pursuing careers in the Culinary Arts, Emergency Management Services and Boxing.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to a Puerto Rican Father, and a mother of Israeli descent, Jose was always encouraged to pursue his dreams. That’s what initially led him to Boxing. While following the path to professional Boxing, he eventually attended culinary school and graduated with a degree in the Culinary Arts. For a while, Jose enjoyed a successful career in the restaurant industry in New York City. Then, in 2004 when his mother died, he quit his job and moved to Miami to help raise his younger siblings.
A Passion for Nursing
Once again, he started pursuing professional boxing, even competing in the Olympic Team Trials. Shortly after he returned from trials, his oldest daughter was born. Jose quit professional Boxing, so he could go back to school to become a firefighter or paramedic.
He struggled to find employment in the field, working for a private ambulance company and then in the Emergency Room at Cleveland Clinic. It was there that he discovered his love for medicine. Committed to always completing what he started, he finished his degree in Emergency Medical Services and went on to an Associate degree in Nursing. In December 2014, he passed his Nursing Council exams and hired at Jackson North Medical Emergency Room.
Giving Back to the Community
Working in the Emergency Room, Jose saw first-hand the effect of illnesses and diseases on patients. He wanted a way to encourage people to take more interest in health and wellness. This desire led him back to his passion – Boxing. He soon opened his Boxing gym – Flaco’s Community Gym for kids and adults in Hollywood. It was a way to help promote a healthy environment and support family health using physical activity.
Today, Flaco’s Community Gym offers more than physical activity. Jose is giving back to the community through multiple programs including partnering with Fort Lauderdale Independence Training and Education, (F.L.I.T.E)., through which he sponsors older children, who are phasing out of foster care, offering them a physical outlet for their emotions and stress. He also hosts two charity events a year, both named after his daughters Briana, and Thaia.
The first is Thai’s bookbag giveaway, a back to school event where he donates 200 bookbags filled with school supplies and the second, Breezy’s Butterball Bash where he gives away 100 frozen turkeys.
Jose has always used his knowledge of anatomy and the body system to promote health and wellness, but, after graduation, he sees more of a future in servicing the community through nursing and healthcare. Do you want to use your profession to do more in the community? Learn more about a career in Nursing and the Health Sciences.