Applications are now closed. Thanks for applying! Meet the 2014-2015 Foot Locker Scholar Athletes winners!
Jordan King exhibits both physical and mental strength. After becoming captain of his football team, the drive and endurance he displayed on the field followed him into the classroom as he began to place greater emphasis on excelling in his studies. His fortitude has propelled him to develop into an independent individual, even after experiencing homelessness. According to Jordan, “These challenges have empowered me as a person. They’ve prepared me for the challenges of the future.” Jordan has been awarded MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, the Random Act of Kindness award, and the Ronald Reagan Student Leadership award. As the first member of his family to go to college, he cannot wait to begin his studies in the fall.
- Location: Littlerock, CA
- Sports(s): Football, Track
- GPA: 3.5167
- College: Ohio Wesleyan University
As the daughter of Polish immigrants, Caroline Kurdej learned the meaning of hard work at an early age. She approaches both her academics and athletics with focus and determination. Because of these qualities, Caroline has earned an immense amount of respect from her teachers and peers. She has been named MVP of her cross country team, has been selected for All-Conference three years in a row, and won the MSL All-Academic Senior Athlete Award. She is looked towards by fellow students for her positive energy and charisma. As a first generation college student, Caroline is now studying at DePaul University.
- Location: Schaumburg, IL
- Sports(s): I am an avid participant in Cross Country as well as Track and Field.
- GPA: 3.758
- College: DePaul University
Allison Ryburn has used her resiliency to overcome both personal and financial difficulties. As one of six siblings, she began working at an early age to support herself and her college aspirations. These experiences have allowed her to develop leadership skills that she displays both on and off the court. She is co-captain of her school’s varsity volleyball team, an active member on her basketball and track teams, Vice President of her class, President of the National Honors Society, and is looked to as a leader among her peers and within her community. Allison plans to pursue a degree in occupational therapy at the University of Kansas.
- Location: Grinnell, KS
- Sports(s): Volleyball Basketball Track and Field Cheerleading
- GPA: 4
- College: The University of Kansas
Matthew Guillory puts his everything into school and running. He is captain of both his cross country and track teams and says sports gave him the confidence he needed to be an effective leader in his community. As an Eagle Scout, he has spent time volunteering with Project Shepherd, an organization that delivers donations of food, clothing, and gifts to families in need during the holiday season. When it comes to future career plans, Matthew has decided to become a biomedical engineer after gaining inspiration from watching runners with prosthetic “blades” compete during the Paralympics. He is now pursuing this degree at Harvey Mudd College.
- Location: Long Beach, CA
- Sports(s): 1. Track 2. Cross Country 3. Basketball
- GPA: 4
- College: Harvey Mudd College
Kylie Kuhns realized early on that she could use her position as an athlete to be a role model for others through community involvement. She founded a nonprofit organization called Kelsey’s Dream in memory of her older sister who passed away from Leukemia. Her organization aids children with cancer by conducting programs that get young athletes in the community involved, and distributing a play therapy toy, which Kylie designed and developed, called, “Hopper the Cancer Crusher.” Her initiative and vision has led to the distribution of over 8,000 of her toys to cancer patients nationwide. Kylie is a freshman at Penn State University.
- Location: Mifflinburg, PA
- Sports(s): Captain, JV Soccer (Freshman Year) Treasurer & Member, Varsity Soccer (3 years) Captain, JV Basketball (Freshman Year) Member (3 years), Captain Varsity Basketball, District Champions 2014 Secretary & Member Varsity Softball, League Champions 2013, District Champions 2014 (3 years) Captain, S.C.L. Starz ASA U16 Softball team (3 years) Danville Bandits ASA U18 Softball team (2 years)
- GPA: 3.5
- College: Penn State University
William Mangram is a leader on and off the field. The selflessness with which his single mother acted during his family’s period of experiencing homelessness taught him how to lead by example and act with compassion. He is the captain of both his soccer and football teams, President of his school’s National Honor Society club, a discussion leader in his church group, and the founder of a lawn mowing business. His hard work has certainly paid off. William is pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering at Stanford University.
- Location: GRAND PRAIRIE, TX
- Sports(s): Soccer (Varsity for the Highlands School and Dallas Texans 97 Boys) Football (Varsity for the Highlands School) Track (Varsity for the Highlands School)
- GPA: 4
- College: Stanford University
Regine Francois grew up in a poor town in Haiti. At the age of four, Regine immigrated to America where her family continued to face financial difficulties. However, these obstacles have only fueled her ambition. She is the co-captain of her cross country team and led her teammates to the 2014 State championships. As a Girl Scout, she created a service project to address sanitation conditions in Haiti. She partnered with the organization Hope for Haiti to send hygiene kits to prevent the spread of diseases like cholera. Her actions inspired her school’s National Honor Society club, for which she acts as secretary, to make Hygiene for Haiti an annual service project. She will be the first member of her family to graduate high school and is now a freshman in college.
- Location: Immokalee, FL
- Sports(s): 1. Cross Country 2. Track
- GPA: 3.86
- College: Undecided
Elizabeth Roux has experienced tremendous obstacles in her life, and yet she has thrived. She was adopted from China as a baby and, during her junior year of high school, faced the passing of her adoptive mother, leaving her an orphan once again. However, Elizabeth remains an inspiration to her peers. Her strength and resiliency are demonstrated in her ability to manage difficulties while achieving excellence. She is the captain of her cross country team and running club, a state representative of Florida High School Athletic Association, Vice President of the Green Club, Historian for the National Honors Society and has completed over 800 hours of community service; all while maintaining a perfect GPA. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine to continue to help people.
- Location: Naples, FL
- Sports(s): I run cross country and outdoor track and field.
- GPA: 4
- College: Harvard University
Cassandra Mosley attributes the development of her leadership skills to her position as an athlete and a camp counselor. She is extremely active in clubs and extracurricular activities at her school while maintaining a rigorous training schedule in three different sports- soccer, tennis and cross country. Cassandra has competed in international science competitions, played a major role in the success of her school’s academic teams, and is involved with various organizations committed to helping underserved populations. As a first generation college student, Cassandra is pursuing a degree in environmental engineering at Rice University.
- Location: Ocala, FL
- Sports(s): Varsity Soccer (4 years), Co-Captain (2 years), District runners-up, Regional qualifiers, Marion County Athlete of the Week, All-County Honorable Mention Team; Varsity Tennis (4 years), Co-captain (2 years), State Runner-up Academic Team, Rookie Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Ocala Star Banner All-County First Team, All-MCIAC Conference Team (2 years), #1 Seed Class 3A District Runner-up, #4 Seed Class 3A District Champion; Varsity Cross Country (3 years), Conference Champions (3 years), District Champions, District Runners-up (2 years), Regional Qualifiers (2 years), Regional Champions, State Qualifiers
- GPA: 4
- College: Rice University
Edgar Escarzaga is recognized for his immense work ethic, constantly in pursuit of means to progress and develop. He learned grit and determination from the sacrifices his father made to support his family during periods of financial difficulty. He paired these attributes with the persistence he learned from basketball to excel academically. Edgar also participates in various technology and entrepreneurial clubs at his school, such as Teens Exploring Technology, which encourages young men from underprivileged communities to pursue careers in STEM fields. This involvement has led him to pursue studies in computer science at UC Berkeley.
- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Sports(s): Boy's Varsity Basketball
- GPA: 4
- College: University of California, Berkeley
Ariel Kantor has dedicated himself to making a difference in his community. Not only does he act as co-captain of the basketball team and captain of the swim team, but he also applies those leadership skills as founder of a tutoring program that now serves over 60 students at his former elementary school. Having grown up in Israel, surrounded by violence, Ariel become very involved in Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) and serves as the Vice President of the organization’s national youth advisory board. Additionally, in response to an increasing number of car accidents involving students at his school, Ariel created the “Wreckless-not-Reckless” campaign to raise awareness about teen driving risks. This initiative will remain with him as he pursues his college degree at Duke University.
- Location: Chapel Hill, NC
- Sports(s): Swimming (USA Swimming, Varsity, Club) Basketball (Junior Varsity, Intramural)
- GPA: 4
- College: Duke University
Nicholas Hibbeler was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 16. Although he was hospitalized often, he remained dedicated to completing his school assignments on time and continued to play soccer at the most competitive level. Motivated by his own experiences, Nicholas worked with his community to hold Kick-Out Cancer soccer matches, which raised nearly $10,000 for children fighting cancer. He even launched the “CHECK 2 Campaign,” which encourages athletes to perform self-checks and request a testicular examination during sports physicals as an early detection measure. He is now officially cancer free and is attending the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, where he will continue to play soccer.
- Location: Kansas City, MO
- Sports(s): Varsity High School Soccer; Premier Club Soccer; Sporting KC Development Team; State Olympic Development Program (ODP) Team; Region II Olympic Development Program (ODP) Travel Team; US Soccer's National Player Pool;
- GPA: 3.4
- College: University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
Tia Kohs was adopted from China at 15 months old. After her adoptive father passed away from cancer, she used cross country as an outlet to focus herself physically and mentally. An injury forced her to take a break from running, but Tia remained an active member of her team as manager and assistant coach. When her adoptive mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, Tia decided to pursue her dream of becoming an oncologist to help others like her mother and father. She has already begun serving her community through her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Honors Society, United Way and Leaders of Tomorrow. She is now pursuing her degree in the medical field at Whitworth University.
- Location: Kalispell, MT
- Sports(s): Cross Country Track and Field
- GPA: 3.975
- College: Whitworth University
Austin Peppers’ story is truly an inspiration. At the age of 16, his mother left unexpectedly, and soon after, his stepfather passed away from terminal cancer. After becoming homeless, Austin placed his energy into excelling in sports and in school. Because of his perseverance and determination, he was named captain of his school’s football and basketball teams, MVP on his track team, Vice President of Key Club, a leader in Future Farmers of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. While juggling his athletics and community service, he also maintained excellent grades. Austin now attends University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
- Location: Corsicana, TX
- Sports(s): Football Varsity Letterman 2012-14 Basketball Varsity Letterman 2011-14 Track Varsity Letterman 2011-14 Tennis Varsity Letterman 2012-14
- GPA: 3.45
- College: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Ricardo Lozoya’s leadership and team spirit has inspired his cross country teammates and is directly responsible for his high school winning the Texas State Cross Country Championship. As the son of immigrant parents, Ricardo cares deeply about helping immigrants and other underserved populations. His passion for community service earned him the honor of Eagle Scout. Ricardo designed and implemented the Mental Math Mentoring Program at his school with the aim of instilling mathematics confidence in young students. He also helped establish The Equity Project, which focuses on dispelling stereotypes surrounding women’s sexuality with the hope of ultimately decreasing instances of sexual assault. He wants to enter the medical field and serve the El Paso community.
- Location: El Paso, TX
- Sports(s): I run cross country and long distance track at Cathedral High School.
- GPA: 3.86
- College: Undecided
A natural born leader, Emilee Hamilton has been a key player in her varsity tennis team’s regional victories. Emilee paired her interest in physical and mental health with her love for community service to create Utah YOUth Connect. Her organization partners youth with seniors living in nursing homes. Over the past three years, Emilee has connected over 16,000 youth with 640 seniors. Her work empowering youth and seniors has led her to pursue a degree in physical therapy at Utah State University.
- Location: Providence, UT
- Sports(s): Mountain Crest High School Girls Varsity Tennis - 3 years, Mountain Crest High School Track and Field - 1 year
- GPA: 4
- College: Utah State University
Austin Verissimo was raised by two immigrant parents in a low-income area where college dreams become a reality for few. Instead of allowing his environment and the negativity of those around him to bring him down, he used it as a catalyst to propel him forward. Austin embraced school and sports as positive outlets to channel his energy. Not only does he serve as captain of his school’s soccer team, but he also acts as Student Council President while volunteering with the local Boys & Girls club. His ultimate goal is to one day develop a nonprofit that helps students realize their full potential by providing them with resources to prepare for college.
- Location: Newark, NJ
- Sports(s): The organized sports that I play are soccer and ice hockey.
- GPA: 3.8
- College: Undecided
Curtis Hsu has won eight state championships and holds the state record for not one but TWO swimming events. He is a constant source of encouragement to his teammates, but his influence doesn’t end there. He is the Vice President of Model UN, Captain of his Federal Reserve Challenge team, a National AP Scholar, and founder of the organization Charity ‘Cross Continents, which launches projects aimed at improving the lives of others across the globe. By developing partnerships with elementary schools throughout the community, Curtis’s organization was able to collect over 1,800 pairs of shoes for children in Tanzania. He plans to study economics and international relations at Harvard University with the aim of one day creating his own nonprofit.
- Location: Troy, MI
- Sports(s): Swimming; Cross Country
- GPA: 4
- College: Harvard University
Tre’Shunda James grew up in a rough inner-city environment. The intensity of the challenges she faced compelled her to develop tenacity and focus. As captain of her school’s volleyball team, she began leading her teammates and setting the tone for practices and games. This level of initiative followed her off the court as she began to make changes within her own community. Tre’Shunda started a neighborhood kickball league, which provides a positive outlet and mentorship opportunities for 20 kids within the city. She also supports her brother and other young people with special needs through her work as a Special Olympics volunteer. Her drive and passion will continue to inspire others as she studies chemical engineering at Occidental College.
- Location: Houston, TX
- Sports(s): Varsity Volleyball and Club Volleyball
- GPA: 4.11
- College: Occidental College
Kenneth Sheffler is the captain of his basketball, football and baseball teams. In addition to his passion for sports, Kenneth has a love for the outdoors. His work in farming led to an interest in renewable energies and power systems. This fascination also made him aware of the large amount of recyclable materials being thrown away in his high school. Through partnerships with local recycling and sanitation centers, he began the school’s first recycling initiative. Now, because of his hard work, the school has greatly reduced its waste and has its own recycling program. He plans to pursue an electrical engineering degree at the University of Idaho and work on developing renewable power systems.
- Location: Desmet, ID
- Sports(s): I play varsity basketball, varsity football, varsity baseball, and city league softball.
- GPA: 4
- College: University of Idaho