The EDP Foundation has unveiled the winners of its annual academic scholarships. Each recipient receives $2,500 toward educational expenses at an accredited college, university, or trade/technical school.
The six winners were among over 300 youth soccer players who submitted applications, which consisted a soccer resume, letter(s) or recommendation from a soccer coach, and an essay answering the question: How has your involvement in soccer shaped your character, and positively impacted your life outside of soccer? Each application was painstakingly reviewed by the dedicated volunteer members of the EDP Foundation Scholarship Committee.
THE 2020 ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS ARE:
Player at SJEB Rush 01 Girls Academy
Student at Delsea Regional High School, Franklinville, NJ
Attending West Chester University
“I have loved playing soccer since youth…I will never regret the hours spend practicing, pushing, and playing. This hard work, passion, would finally give way to my first college showcase event. ...finally all my hard work would pay off, or so I thought... As the game began, a girl dribbled towards me… Crash, the sound of two players colliding. It rung throughout the soccer field that day... A few days later I was sitting in the doctor’s office as he read my test results. “You tore your ACL.” Those words are the most dreaded and feared words for a soccer player...”
“I wanted nothing more than to be Kylie Brown - the college soccer player... I realized there is no one to blame... most importantly, I forgave myself. I was not a failure. I was simply a victim of an unpredictable accident while playing a game. This self-pardoning alongside that of those surrounding me engulfed me with hope… Fast forward to 2019 and my phone rings. “Hi Kylie, it is Coach Betty Ann”. “We would love for you to come play for us at West Chester University.” My dream was finally a reality."
Player at LaGrange Rage/Nirvana Intrigue
Student at Arlington High School, Lagrangeville, NY
Attending Binghamton University
“For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around soccer. It has never just been a sport for me, it has always symbolized so much more. Soccer has made me the person I am today. Growing up surrounded by a team, with values and expectations has shaped me. The hard work and dedication required for every single practice or game, has inspired me to achieve so much more. I began volunteering in the TOPS Soccer Special Needs program at Stringham Park, through Lagrange Soccer. Helping individuals less fortunate than myself was life changing.”
“Through a friend, I found a program called Appalachian Service Project. She had been going for a couple years with her church, and she insisted that I try it. I decided to give it a try, so I headed to West Virginia with a group of people I did not know for the most part, and we arrived at an old high school… I have continued to do Appalachian Service Project, and I have soccer to thank for providing me with the qualities to pursue such an adventure and allowing me to be the successful person I am today."
Player at Blackwatch Premier
Student at Schalmont High School, Schenectady, NY
Attending Binghamton University
“In August 2016 I was diagnosed with cancer. My immaturity might have shown, but I was excited to shave my head…In February of 2017 I had my final treatment and was able to play soccer again soon after. I received an overwhelming amount of support, family and friends, sports teams across New York, people I didn’t even know reached out to me. I was something I never expected, ever.”
“I wonder what motivates me to be the person I am and to get to where I am going, and I can say that it is because of all those people. I carry their thoughts with me every single day…I am the person I am today because of them.”
"The cancer left my body but the impact it had remained. I realized how much this sport meant to me when it was taken away... To say that I dedicated the years following to soccer would be an understatement, and I am excited to start my next journey..."
Player at Lighthouse S.C.
Student at C.B. West High School, Doylestown, PA
Attending University of Virginia
“My cleats have more holes than Camp Greenlake. Yet each giant gaping fissure is a testament to a shift from what I believed soccer to be to what it actually is: from mental match to teeth-gnashing grind, from a tactical form of chess to a daunting, dogged undertaking of determination…"
“At the beginning of my soccer career, my coaches had shown diversity as a negative to any team, and I had unconsciously adopted that attitude. However, finding Lighthouse S.C. sparked a change in my closed-minded attitude. By realizing our differences were what made our team special, I grew to celebrate the individuality in all the people. Valuing those who are unique from me led to a boost in productivity in all of the teams I have led since the shift in my views, a testament to the power of accepting diversity. Now I look forward to each new worldview I encounter because I know it will make me a better leader and person.”
Player at Florence Lightning Premier
Student at Florence Township Memorial High School, Florence, NJ
Attending Rowan University
“Where would I be today without having soccer in my life? Honestly, I can’t imagine my life without it. Soccer has been a big part of most of my life. I have met and played with many players over the years both from my hometown as well as other towns around me. Soccer gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people, and I have made lasting friendships with many of my teammates."
"In June 2018, while my family and I were in Hershey, PA for my brother’s soccer tournament, my parents got a devastating phone call. Our house was on fire. We were two hours away and there was nothing we could do to save our home or our four dogs who were inside. It was a very dark moment in time for me. I wasn’t sure how I would move on or cope with the loss of our pets, home, and belongings. That August, I turned to my soccer teammates on my high school team to help me get through it and process my feelings. I put my energy into soccer to help me relieve the stress I was feeling from my family’s tragedy. It turned out that I had the best season of my life…”
Player at Bethesda Soccer Club, Bethesda Blue '01
Student at Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD
Attending University of Rochester
“I began playing soccer shortly after moving to Puerto Rico when I was four years old. I was beginning to learn Spanish, and soccer served as the language that connected me to kids at school and on my first soccer team. It enabled me to make friends… Rather than a means of fitting in, soccer soon became my passion. I spent my waking hours kicking the ball during lunch, practicing with teammates after school, and studying the game on TV… As I became more serious about the sport, I improved dramatically, and when I was fourteen, a Division One Argentinian club called Union De Santa Fe recruited me to train with their youth team for a month in Santa Fe, Argentina.”
“I have learned valuable life lessons by being a part of several different soccer teams. My integration into the distinct cultures of Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Bethesda helped shape me into the resilient and accepting person I am today. My soccer experience also taught me time management, problem-solving, and leadership skills that will serve me well in the future. In short, I am better equipped to start a new chapter in my life because of soccer."
THE VIEW ON THIS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FROM PETER GOODING, CHAIR, EDP FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
“We are very pleased to see such deserving winners of these scholarships,” said Gooding, who developed the scholarship program 2 years ago.
"In awarding these scholarships, the EDP Foundation is helping prepare young adults for their futures, and with the help of soccer, convincing them to take part in further education, whether academic or vocational," Gooding said.
Gooding added: "It’s vitally important to help young people navigate the years immediately after high school. Studies indicate that participating in educational enterprises better enables young adults to cope and thrive during these important developmental years.
Explaining one of the aims of the EDP Foundation, Gooding said the Foundation is “committed to encouraging and helping youth soccer players reach their goals in further education, the crowning achievement of course being graduation from college or a vocational school."
"For this mission, we use as our recruiting base, EDP Tournaments and League events. This means we have multiple opportunities throughout the year, to bring educators, college coaches and industry professionals to educate players, parents and clubs about their players’ plans after High School,” Gooding explained.
Each year, through these scholarships the EDP Foundation continues to deliver on its mission: ‘To enable young soccer players to reach their full potential on and off the field. With an emphasis on college or education opportunities by providing a full range of the highest quality soccer-related experiences. We aim to empower each player by creating connections that help them to achieve their collegiate goals.’
To learn more about EDP Foundation Scholarships and other EDP Pathway to College™ programs, visit edpfoundation.org/scholarships.