Jeremy Colon has a history of going the extra mile for others.
The 2015 Business Management alum is an entrepreneur in the personal training and life coaching field, focused on helping others fulfill their fitness goals and their life’s dreams, while he pursues his own in the process.
Several years ago, 10 days before his 21st birthday, Jeremy learned his father was dying of a kidney infection. Once the news sank in, Jeremy knew he had more to offer than mere encouragement: He donated one of his own kidneys to his father.
“Hey, I have one kidney, but at least I saved a life,” Jeremy says with a cheery, nonchalant self-assuredness.
He was a sophomore when he decided that he would undergo the battery of medical and psychological evaluations required to determine whether he could donate his kidney to his ailing father. Jeremy was repeatedly assured by his family members and medical staff that he could change his mind at any time, but he only saw one path ahead: He was a perfect match, and if he had a chance to save his father, he had to take it.
At 5:00 am on July 31, 2013, Jeremy went under the knife. Six hours later, he was a hero—his father had a second chance at life.
Running for Others’ Lives
For April, Jeremy decided to put his selflessness, his self-confidence, and his physical fitness to work for people in jeopardy, running the 2018 Boston Marathon to raise money for Casa Myrna, a Boston shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence.
“I chose Casa Myrna because of the important work they do, and because I know women who have been victims of domestic violence,” Jeremy wrote recently in the Lesley Public Post.
Jeremy was born in New Jersey but, at a young age, also lived in New York and Puerto Rico before finally moving to Boston’s Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods. He describes his upbringing as middle class, and he was tasked with helping raise his brothers while his father worked as a technician and his mother as an administrative secretary.
His parents’ strong work ethic served as an example for Jeremy, while his duties watching over his siblings instilled in him a reverence for helping others. Those traits served him well during his studies at Lesley.
“I’ve always been a go-getter,” Jeremy says. “Lesley’s community was always about openness,” trying new things and approaching one’s goals and career path in the spirit of creativity. Business and entrepreneurship, he says, “is a form of art.”
He credits professors Robert McGrath, Donna Halper, Kim Ruegger, and Jonathan Jefferson (in post-graduate years) for helping him see the possibilities of carving out an entrepreneurial career in a field that enables him to stay true to himself and serve as a “beacon of light” to others who see him put in the work.
The April 16 Boston Marathon is his second marathon (he ran in New York’s last November, just over four years after donating his kidney) and Jeremy has spent the winter supplementing his roadwork (when weather allows) with strength training and “high-intensity kickboxing.”
Jeremy’s hard work and winning habits are the underpinning for his personal fitness training center, Jeremy Colon Enterprises, headquartered in Dorchester. His services include life coaching and motivation, in addition to workouts, and he also raises money for charity in the process.
To Jeremy, physical fitness means “being happy with yourself, being comfortable, being strong, being empowered.”
And, in his case, the ability to make room for an occasional beer or cheeseburger—but only an occasional one.
“Never sell yourself short,” he urges his clients who might get frustrated by the often-arduous process of getting in shape. “You’ve already done the impossible multiple times.”