Former grant recipient and guest speaker Mackie Thompson returned to an annual breakfast banquet May 24 to explain why earning a scholarship from the Northern Virginia Athletic Directors Administrators and Coaches Association (NVADACA) in 2020 was important and helped her toward gaining some of her college opportunities.
Thompson, a rising junior at Virginia Tech and a student- trainer for the college’s football team, was addressing 18 of the 21 senior student/athletes from Northern Virginia public high schools. They were present to receive $4,000 scholarships from NVADACA at the organization’s 2022 scholarship breakfast, held at Springfield Golf & Country Club.
Thompson discussed how playing multiple high-school sports helped her apply valuable lessons learned to everyday life.
Thompson’s father, Joe, the former head football coach at Oakton High School and current principal of Mountain View Alternative High School in Centreville, also was a guest speaker.
“Mackie’s scholarship was a financial benefit that helped a lot,” Joe Thompson said.
Thompson also talked about how it’s OK for an athlete to play as hard as they can and still only be a second-string and not win every game. “That’s the reality of sports,” he said.
Founded in 1976, NVADACA has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to 500-plus seniors, beginning with annual grants in 1980. There was only one scholarship recipient that first year, for $500.
For the 2021-22 school year, a record 154 student athletes applied for the NVADACA scholarships.
“We had 154 outstanding applicants who all deserved to be awarded,” said banquet master of ceremonies Jeff Wilson.
Winners were recognized and introduced at the banquet, with many of their achievements, plus a student message from each, read allowed by Wilson and NVADACA president Yvonne Griggs.
The list of winners follows.
Katelynn Park, Madison High School (Mary O. Ambler Memorial Scholarship); Tatum Baugh, Centreville (Patricia A. Bergan Memorial Scholarship); Riley Sturtevant, West Springfield (Richard C. (R.C.) Bosley Scholarship); Mallory Agner, Lake Braddock (Elizabeth S. Brooks Memorial Scholarship); Rachel Schlueter, Madison (Ralph E. Buckley Memorial Scholarship); Brooke Canavan, Centreville (William Jackson Burkholder Memorial Scholarship); Zoe D’Amato, W.T. Woodson (Patrick Cunningham Memorial Scholarship); Kimberly Figueroa, Fairfax (George Felton Memorial Scholarship); Catherine Chmura, Justice (John R. Grinnell Memorial Scholarship); Frank Saldana, Justice (Virgil B. Harris, Jr. Memorial Scholarship); Eyosyas Damte, Alexandra City (Herbert Lain Holt Scholarship).
Also, Lauren Rothstein, Robinson (Marvel Emogene “Jean” Johnson Memorial Scholarship); Cooper Rudolph, Robinson (George Keim Scholarship); Kiera Davenport, Chantilly (Tommy Lyles Memorial Scholarship); Grace Chamberlain, Marshall (Jimmie Miller Memorial Scholarship); Celia Kelaher, Justice (Rachael E. Peters Memorial Scholarship); Nate Dietrich, South County (Thomas H. Porter, Jr. Memorial Scholarship); Gabriela Ganan, Edison (Charles L. Price Memorial Scholarship); Erin Althouse, West Potomac (Jim Ross Memorial Scholarship); Dami Awofisayo, Thomas Jefferson (Del Wilson Memorial Scholarship); Isabelle Bristol, Washington-Liberty (John C. Youngblood Memorial Scholarship).