Student Spotlight: Nick Pontarelli

“You need people to run with you, you really do…”

This past summer, frisbee captain Nick Pontarelli worked for FOCUS Summer Projects in Colorado. He recalled that while serving, “There was an emphasis on overwhelming you intentionally.” After pouring himself out all day, he experienced the vital importance of community, prayer, and the sacraments. “You can’t give to others what you don’t have.”

During his time in prayer, Nick often turned to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who built his faith life on four relationships: a relationship with God, himself, others, and nature. Returning to Ave this fall for a busy senior year, Nick strives to continue fostering these four relationships and  encourages others to do the same, “We were made for all four, so if you remove one of those aspects, there’s a decline in life.”

At Ave, Nick has noticed the unique opportunity for strong community, saying that one of his favorite things about the university is the friendships he’s developed. “I’ve really learned here that you have faithful, loyal friends, who help you cultivate virtue and encourage you to become the best person you can be.”

Both Nick and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati share a common love of the mountains. Although there are no mountains in Florida, Frassati’s most famous quote, “verso l’alto” or “to the heights” is an encouraging reminder to constantly strive to reach the summit of eternal life.


Nick Pontarelli is a senior accounting major and frisbee captain at Ave Maria University.