When the class of 2020 started their senior year, no one could predict that it would end in virtual classes and cancelled events. Though safety is everyone’s priority, many graduating seniors have worked for years toward their college goals and deserve recognition for meeting – and often exceeding – those goals.
Under normal circumstances, Mountaire Farms and WBOC partner up to award $1,000 scholarships, one per month from September-June, to 10 deserving student athletes. At the end of the year, we take those newly graduated seniors to a Shorebirds game and announce the male and female overall winners as the Scholar Athletes of the Year, and those two aspiring college students receive an additional scholarship of $2,500.
We have been celebrating these exceptional student-athletes and leaders in their communities for 18 years on Delmarva. With some years including an extra winner, that amounts to over 95 students and $280,000 in scholarships. In true 2020 fashion, however, we were thrown another curveball when our long-time Community Relations Manager and program creator, Roger Marino, retired (stay tuned for upcoming post). Though Roger had begun training our new Community Relations Manager, Zach Evans, he was put to the test halfway through the school year.
COVID-19 changed the traditional celebrations for hundreds of thousands of seniors, and our own Scholar Athletes were no exception. We wanted to make sure our winners still felt appreciated for all of their hard work, including GPAs over 4.0, captaining their sports teams, and putting in extraordinary community service over the years.
Our year-end celebration was on a Zoom call, and while we may not have had a Shorebird around, our own Mountaire chicken came to deliver the good news to our overall winners and provide them with their checks. Each athlete received their scholarship check, a pizza, a baseball signed by Baltimore Orioles prospect Zach Jarrett (who was on the Zoom call as a guest speaker), a trophy, and other goodies.
We can’t wait to see what our winners have in store over their college careers, and we can’t wait to begin selecting next year’s winners this September! If you know someone who deserves to be in the running, have their coach or a school representative (teacher, principal, guidance counselor, etc.) nominate them here.
And check out our incredible Scholar Athletes of the Year, Myia Jeter and Will Kenney, receiving their scholarships below!