Mega Scholarships - Winners

PAST WINNERS $20,000 PLUS

Scholarship Winner - SOPHIA POVEDA
SOPHIA POVEDA
Location:Miami, FL Sports(s): Volleyball, Basketball, and Beach Volleyball GPA: 5.16 College: Stonehill College

Sophia has been the captain of her varsity basketball team since the seventh grade, and the captain of her varsity volleyball team for her junior and senior years. Her excellence on the court is reflected in her numerous accolades, including Wendy’s Heisman State Finalist & School Winner and Finalist for the National Pro Football Hall of Fame Award of Excellence. In addition to her athleticism, she established "4 Girls Digging For a Cause,” an organization dedicated to fundraising for a local shelter that provides refuge to abused and abandoned children. Through this organization, she arranged benefit volleyball games that raised over $2,000 for the shelter. Despite having lost her hearing in an accident, undergoing double jaw surgery, and suffering through constant cyber bullying, she is deeply motivated to speak about self-esteem and bullying to other young people. That is why she is also a motivational speaker for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Miami-Dade County.

Scholarship Winner - ACACIA OVERSTREET
ACACIA OVERSTREET
Location:Germantown, MD Sports(s): Soccer, Crew GPA: 3.86 College: The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Acacia Overstreet is an accomplished crew and soccer athlete. Acacia has been part of her varsity crew team for four years, and she made her way up to the varsity soccer team after playing junior varsity soccer for two years. In addition to her commitment to these sports, Acacia shows her commitment to leadership by serving as the president of both the Black Student Union and the Model United Nations Club at her school. Her organizational and management skills are evident in her experience coordinating the PUNCH Charity Fashion Show. Her plans for the future are linked to her passion for sustainability and environmental innovation: long-term, she wants to help companies be more sustainable, especially here in the U.S. In the fall, Acacia will attend the Wharton School of Business at UPenn, and wants to spearhead a revolution to change how people think about sustainability and the world.

Scholarship Winner - WILLIAM MCMULLEN
WILLIAM MCMULLEN
Location:Okeechobee, FL Sports(s): Football GPA: 3.94 College: Undecided

William, who goes by Eli, has shown his commitment to being a leader in his community by representing South Florida in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program. He was also one of two people selected (out of 100 applicants) to go to the World Leadership Congress held in Chicago. Where he helped to renovate Chicagos Humboldt park. Eli also works with an organization called Feeding Children Everywhere, helping distribute 10,000 meals to hungry children in South Florida. He is also a member of the Okeechobee Medical Reserve Corps, helping people in emergencies. Eli has a strong internal motivation to succeed: he completed 41 college credits through dual enrollment while playing football and volunteering at the same time. Eli’s ultimate goal is to double major in Agribusiness and Agronomy. He speaks passionately about 2040 being a year of water shortage and how he wants to educate people about the environment.

Scholarship Winner - THEO GOFF
THEO GOFF
Location:Spring, TX Sports(s): Track GPA: 3.8 College: Texas A&M University

Theo Goff is an accomplished cross country runner. He qualified to compete in the FL X-Country South Regional, but was injured and didn’t compete. Theo was the first person in his school’s history to go to nationals. He was elected team captain and led his cross country teammates to the state championships. After his family relocated to Colorado, Theo stayed back in Texas to continue being part of his team. This meant working 40 hours, and running 70 miles, every week. Despite this, Theo continues to excel in his academics and has committed to Texas A&M to run. Theo is selfless, almost to a fault. After witnessing a car crash behind him, he broke one of the windows with his bare hands to pull the passenger out and keep them conscious. This resulted in him injuring his hand, but he saved the passenger’s life. He wants to major in Kinesiology and become a head coach to give back to his sport, and to honor his coach who made him believe he could go to college.

Scholarship Winner - SYDNEY CAPERS
SYDNEY CAPERS
Location:Windermere, FL Sports(s): Football, Basketball, Track GPA: 3.9 College: Augustana University

Sydney Capers is an accomplished football, basketball and track athlete. In addition to his excellence on the field, Sydney’s community involvement is truly impressive. He extends his skills to coach for a youth football league that emphasizes not only sportsmanship but also education. He speaks passionately about race relations in the country and is a member of the NAACP in Orlando. He also had the opportunity to visit and intern at the United Nations for a week and says that has been his greatest accomplishment. Sydney is interested in attending Duke or Johns Hopkins Medical Schools, following his Pre-Med and Biology undergraduate studies at Augustana University, pursuing a degree that will enable him to conduct research in cancer.

Scholarship Winner - ALEXIS STEWART
ALEXIS STEWART
Location:Charlotte, NC Sports(s): Cheerleading GPA: 4.2 College: Bethune Cookman University

Alexis is the president of the Chick-Fil-A Leadership Academy, winner of the Honorary Cheerleader Award for West Mecklenburg High School, and is the assistant cheer coach for the West Charlotte Cowboys. Despite enduring a terrible car accident that took her father’s life and left her seriously injured, Alexis graduated from high school early due to her determination, optimism, and stubbornness. She wants to become a physical therapist for a sports team and wants to continue mentoring young girls so that they become confident in their abilities to overcome any obstacles in their lives.

Scholarship Winner - RYAN WINTERS
RYAN WINTERS
Location:Poway, CA Sports(s): Basketball, Pole Vault, Track, Baseball GPA: 4.3 College: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Ryan is not your average varsity track and field athlete. Despite the extreme challenges his family faced during the recession, Ryan was able to maintain an unweighted 4.0 GPA and achieved a near perfect score on his SAT, 1500 out of 1600. While also excelling in academics, Ryan shined in sports. During his junior year, he became one of his school’s top pole vaulters. He truly loves his sport and his team: to him, they are a real community and everyone is there to support and encourage one another. In college, Ryan hopes to study biomedical engineering at Cal Poly because his brother has struggled with Type 1 diabetes for years. He has volunteered at hackathons that make diabetic glucose data more open and accessible to people that need it. Using his polished teamwork skills, Ryan aims to move scientific and technological advances beyond providing individuals with an improved ability to manage diabetes to an actual cure for the disease.

Scholarship Winner - RONNIEMARIE FALASCO
RONNIEMARIE FALASCO
Location:Broomall, PA Sports(s): Softball, Soccer, Track GPA: 5.39 College: Amherst College

RonnieMarie is a passionate softball player, confident student, and compassionate person. She has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people suffering from addiction, suicide, and other conditions, and to remove the social stigmas around mental health issues. RonnieMarie volunteers with the LETS Club, the Delaware County Annual Suicide Survivors Candlelight, Survivors of Suicide, and Out of the Darkness, and she also recruited others to volunteer with her. Her team and her sport are very important to her and their recent playoff win against their rival school was a major success for RonnieMarie. Since her mother was the first person in her family to graduate from college, she wants to follow in her footsteps. In college, she wants to study mental health and neurology to continue to instigate change in this area.

Scholarship Winner - PUNEET KAUR
PUNEET KAUR
Location:Round Hill, VA Sports(s): Basketball, Track GPA: 3.75 College: George Mason University

Puneet is a four-year varsity basketball and track athlete. She was the first in her family to be born in the US, and will be the second in her family to go to college. She plans to attend George Mason University in the fall. As a result of her family’s hard work to move to the US, Puneet values her education and excels in her academics, earning good grades in the midst of her personal struggle with a rare epileptic seizure disorder. Additionally, after multiple students at her high school committed suicide, Puneet sought to create some type of support for them. She started a school-wide walk to raise awareness about mental health issues. It was featured on many national media platforms, such as The Washington Post, and ABC 7. She is also the President/Creator of the We’re All Human Club, which helps kids dealing with suicide and aims to decrease the stigma around mental health. Puneet is an outstanding young woman who will benefit greatly from the Foot Locker Scholar Athlete scholarship, as her college education will burden her already financially struggling family.

Scholarship Winner - MICHAEL PONESSA
MICHAEL PONESSA
Location:Mount Pleasant, SC Sports(s): Baseball, Rugby GPA: 5.01 College: University of South Carolina Honors College

Michael has exceptional academic accomplishments, including a super-scored 35 ACT and perfect subscores in English and Reading. In the largest school in South Carolina, he is ranked number six. Not only is Michael an exceptional student, but he is an all-star athlete for recreational baseball and played for his school's nationally ranked rugby club. While Michael is shattering goals in academics and athletics, he is also serving his community. He’s involved with the Hospice of Charleston, where he’s currently helping to re-do the children’s loft at the center. Mike helped bring in a painter and new toys to make it more kid-friendly.

Scholarship Winner - MALLIKA JAIN
MALLIKA JAIN
Location:San Jose, CA Sports(s): Tennis, Soccer, Golf GPA: 4 College: University of Southern California

Mallika is the captain of her school’s varsity soccer, golf, and tennis teams. She also placed third this year in her tennis league and went to the tennis division finals. Her leadership skills are apparent in her athletics (she recruited girls to join the tennis team and supported them throughout the season) and in her community involvement (she’s currently the Student Body President, President of Key Club and a strategy member of the Robotics Club at her high school.) Mallika has received several awards, including the Girl Scouts Gold Award, the President’s Award for Education and Excellence, and the Duke of Edinburgh International Gold Award for Leadership and Service. She’s been committed to the Girl Scouts for 13 years and her involvement included working to raise $35,000 to provide schools in three poverty-stricken villages in Vadodara, India with sanitary bathrooms for boys and girls, water purification systems to reduce illness, additional classrooms, a computer lab, science lab, a library, medical camps, playground equipment and basic school supplies.

Scholarship Winner - KENDALL KIKKAWA
KENDALL KIKKAWA
Location:Altadena, CA Sports(s): Football, Basketball, Baseball GPA: 4.23 College: University of California at Berkeley

In addition to being co-captain of his varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams, Kendall Kikkawa has excelled at all three sports and is also a firm believer in giving back to his community. He is a tutor for the Boys and Girls Club and for two years has been on a student exchange program to Nicaragua, where he worked with community service groups to build stoves for underprivileged families and visited patients at La Mascota, a pediatric cancer hospital. He is a co-founder of Changing the Community Giving Circle, which raises money to support change makers in the Asian-American community and has raised nearly $45,000 since they started three years ago. Kendall channels his athleticism into his community involvement and has helped to organize a 5K run to raise funds for La Mascota Hospital and for the Special Olympics. He also traveled to Japan as part of a goodwill basketball team and met with tsunami victims and later helped them through his giving circle. Kendall wants to put his interest in math and science to use by studying bioengineering at UC Berkeley in the fall.

Scholarship Winner - JALEN MILLIGAN
JALEN MILLIGAN
Location:Location: Chandler, OK Sports(s): Track, Softball, Dance GPA: 3.88 College: Wichita State University

Jalen’s impressive athletic involvement includes varsity track and field, varsity softball, USA track and field, Junior Olympics, and competitive dance. Jalen was the first girl to qualify for her state track meet in a sprint, a hurdle, a throw, and a jump. Jalen also has a deep sense of engagement in her community and she volunteers with several organizations. She helps people gain access to free eye exams, she volunteers with a transitional home for women, and she’s organized free track clinics. She also started a program, called the Exchange Zone, where people donate new or used sports equipment and she gives it to kids who can’t afford equipment, don’t have it, or lost it in extraordinary circumstances (a fire or displacement, for example.) Jalen aspires to run track professionally as a heptathlete, and she wants to study exercise science in the Wichita State Honors Program.

Scholarship Winner - JACKSON DUGGER
JACKSON DUGGER
Location:Dallas, TX Sports(s): Baseball, Football GPA: 4.32 College: Calhoun Honors, Clemson University

Jackson is passionate about both baseball and football and says that his most memorable achievement was playing in a 17-inning, 5.5-hour playoff victory. Jackson has Tourette Syndrome and decided not to use medication to suppress the nervous tics that it causes in favor of keeping his mind sharp and excelling at school and sports. Aside from his numerous academic awards, he has shown his commitment to his community through over 500 service hours, focused largely on providing equal education and sports opportunities for underprivileged youth including tutoring, mentoring, and coaching. Jackson supports organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of America, Lost Boys of Sudan, and Operation Kindness.

Scholarship Winner - JACK SHERIDAN
JACK SHERIDAN
Location:Fayetteville, NY Sports(s): Baseball GPA: 3.7 College: Lemoyne College

Jack, who started playing baseball when he was four years old, was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2014. He was nominated as a Wish Kid for the CNY Make-A-Wish foundation, and he asked for a new baseball field for his school, dedicated to his baseball coach. He was deeply involved in the field’s building and development, and was also the keynote speaker and volunteer fundraiser for Make-A-Wish and many other organizations. The new field is where Jack, who became his school’s varsity team captain, threw many game winning pitches in 2016 when he was healthy enough to return to the field. Jack was also the game winning pitcher in the sectional championship in 2016. He takes on leadership challenges through his role in the Brothers Orientation Leadership Team (BOLT), assisting new students in their transitions to becoming CBA students, as well as being a member of CBA Peer Ministry. He has committed to play baseball and attend LeMoyneCollege and he wants to pursue a career in law. Jack's cancer treatments will end in September of 2017, and though he hopes to be considered cancer free, he plans to continue to advocate for cancer research, speak publicly, and offer inspiration to kids in the future.

Scholarship Winner - CHASE MALACKOWSKI
CHASE MALACKOWSKI
Location:Chicago, IL Sports(s): Soccer GPA: 4.8 College: University of Southern California

Despite being diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma and having his leg amputated at the age of eight, Chase shows his commitment to soccer by co-captaining the team while using a prosthetic leg. He led his team to victory at city championships even though it was difficult to play with a prosthetic. His struggles with the prosthetic leg led Chase to design his own. His design is now used by other athletes and students, and it has a US Patent pending. He has also designed a Hot Wheels prototype for Mattel and continues to work with them, creating new models to benefit the Children’s, Research Fund. Chase shows his commitment to his community by founding the nonprofit “Wheels-For-A-Wish,” which accepts donations of classic Hot Wheels Redline cars and resells them online or at collector conventions. All the proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish foundation. He is also on the advisory board of Chicago Children’s Hospital and has organized fundraisers for them in partnership with Mattel. He wants to start his own business after he graduates.

Scholarship Winner - CHARISTA MROCZEK
CHARISTA MROCZEK
Location:Staten Island, NY Sports(s): I am a competitive swimmer in three different swim leagues. First, I compete as member of USA Swimming under Metropolitan Swimming for Freedom Aquatics Club preceded by Richmond Aquatics Club. I qualified for Junior Olympics all four of my high school yea GPA: 3.8 College: Barnard College of Columbia University

Charista is a three-time MVP for swimming and is a strong believer in determination and teamwork. She is deeply involved in youth leadership for her community and, most notably, worked as a Press Intern for US Senator Charles E. Schumer. She’s organized fundraising events to benefit hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were destroyed by typhoons and bone marrow drives to increase the national bone marrow donor registry for people with blood cancer, especially children and minorities. Charista is active in the media, as well. She hosts a cable TV talk show called “Charista’s Corner Live” and is the youngest-ever columnist and teen correspondent for the Staten Island Advance, a Newhouse daily, and its website SILive.com, writing on issues for and about teens. A classical pianist, since the age of 4, Charista has performed at Lincoln Center and was Miss Staten Island Outstanding Teen 2016 for the Miss America Organization. She will be attending Barnard College at Columbia University in the fall and hopes to pursue a law degree to become an advocate for women, children, and human rights.