Scholarships awarded to 30 high-school graduates
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Aug. 15, 2018 – The LPGA Foundation announced today the 30 high-school graduates selected to receive this year’s Marilynn Smith Scholarship. Each candidate has demonstrated outstanding academic excellence, leadership skills and active involvement and service to her community while also fulfilling specific requirements for each scholarship award.
The Marilynn Smith Scholarship, named in honor of one of the LPGA’s 13 founding members, is awarded to high-school seniors who plan to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. Each of the 2018 recipients will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
Abigail Douglas graduated from Lynnwood High School in Bothell, WA, where she was the No. 1 seed and MVP on her varsity golf team for all four years at high school. She was named an All-Conference honorable mention in her 10th-grade year and a 1st team All-Conference selection in 11th grade.
Douglas plans to attend Whitworth University where she is leaning towards majors in accounting, business, marketing or sports management, with the ultimate goal of getting a master’s degree in one of those fields.
Alexis Green graduated summa cum laude from Hoover High School in Canton, OH, where she was captain of the varsity golf team for three years, captain of the varsity basketball team for two years and a member of the Student Council, Leadership Club, Spanish Club and National Honors Society. In her senior year, she was a 1st Team All-League and 1st Team All-County selection.
Green plans to attend Walsh University, where she is leaning towards business, marketing and possibly law.
Ashley Zhu graduated from South Salem High School in Salem, OR, where she was a member of the National French Honor Society and Environmental Club, and also served as vice-president of the National Honor Society. She captained the varsity golf team, played on the 2017 Girls’ Junior Americas Cup Team and was a three-time selection for the All-State First Team.
Zhu will be attending Oregon Institute of Technology, where she plans to pursue a dual major in environmental and renewable energy engineering. Beyond that, she has a career goal of improving methods of energy usage while mitigating issues associated with non-renewable resources.
Avery Pool graduated from Caledonia High School in Caledonia, MS. She was the number one player on her varsity golf team for four years, earning Mississippi State Game player of the year honors in 2016 and 2017. She was president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, vice-president of the Future Business Leaders of America and a member of the Anchor Club and National Honors Society.
Pool will attend University of Montevallo, where she would like to major in nutrition and dietetics before obtaining her masters in sports nutrition.
Bailey Hubbard graduated from Clay County High School in Manchester, KY, where she was captain of the varsity golf team, a member of the Student Advisory Council, a team leader with Tiger Vision and a social ambassador for American Red Cross. A recipient of the Governor’s Scholars Program in 2017, she was an All-Region Golf Team Honoree and an All-State Golf Team Honoree in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Hubbard will be attending Eastern Kentucky University where she plans to major in biology before going on to dental school at either the University of Kentucky or University of Louisville.
Blakely Arp graduated from LaGrange High School in LaGrange, GA, where she played on the varsity golf team for all four years and was captain for three. She was a member of the Student Council, the Service Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Foreign Language Club.
Arp will attend Point University, where she plans to earn a degree in management. From there, she would like to work in the fashion industry and eventually establish her own boutique.
Elaena Steffen graduated from Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, KS, where she was on the varsity golf team for all four years, won the MVP award in 2015 and earned the “Coaches Choice” award in 2016. She was a Kansas Honor Scholar, an Academic Letter Winner from 2014-2018 and made the All A’s Honor Roll from 2014-2018.
Steffen will attend Baker University on an engineering program and plans to graduate with a degree in physics. Her goal after that is to obtain a mechanical engineering degree from either Kansas State University or Kansas University, and then design items which can improve people’s lives.
Emma Germann graduated from Watseka Community High School in Watseka, IL. She played on the Lady Warriors varsity golf team for all four years, was a varsity letterman from 2014-2018 and the team’s MVP in 2017. A QuestBridge National College Prep Scholar, she was the first chair alto saxophone and a soloist on her school’s concert band and the lead tenor and soloist on the jazz band.
Germann will attend Elmhurst College in the fall and plans to major in music education. She hopes to have a successful career as a public school music teacher in Illinois, and lead her own concert band. She would also like to serve as the coach on a high school golf team.
Faith Hopkins graduated from Bartlesville High School in Bartlesville, OK, where she was a four-year letterman on the varsity golf team, served on the Bartlesville Leadership Class and was captain of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. She was a Special Olympics Coach at local and state level in 2017 and a member of the National Honor Society from 2016-2018.
Hopkins will be attending Oklahoma State University and plans to major in business and entrepreneurship. Her long-term goal is to open her own school and academy focused on education and golf.
Jenally Nolan graduated from Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN. A member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the National Honors Society, she was president of the French Club and vice-president of the French Honor Society. She was an AP Scholar with Distinction, competed on the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour for four years and was the Farragut High School Golf Lady Admiral Scholar of the Year in 2017.
Nolan will be attending Centre College, where she plans to major in English and economics with a possible minor in French. Post-graduation, she hopes to intern with the Disney College Program. Long-term, she would like to publish children’s and young adult literature.
Josie Patterson graduated from Chandler High School in Chandler, OK, where she was captain of both the golf and basketball teams. President of the Business Professionals of America, she was a member of the National Honor Society and qualified for the Superintendent’s Honor Roll for all four years.
Patterson will attend Oklahoma Baptist University where she plans to obtain a degree in biology. After that, she would like to attend Oklahoma State University and become a veterinarian with the ultimate goal of going on to establish her own practice.
Kate Owens graduated from Lambert High School in Suwanee, GA, where she played on the varsity golf team from 2014-2018 and was a member of the National Honors Society and National Technical Honors Society. Environmental Science Student of the Year in 2016 and 2017, she was the 2016 women’s golf player of the year and the women’s golf scholar athlete in both 2016 and 2017.
Owens will be attending James Madison University, where she has been accepted in to the Honors College and will pursue a degree in engineering and mathematics. Long-term, she would like to carve out a career in design with a focus on golf equipment.
Kendel Abrams graduated from Susquehannock High School in Glen Rock, PA, where she captained the varsity golf team, was a representative on the Principal Advisory Board and a member of the National Honor Society. She earned the Distinguished Honor Roll from 2014-2018 and the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award in 2017, and she was voted the Girl’s Golf Player of the Year in 2017.
Abrams will attend Converse College, where she plans to play on the women’s golf team and obtain a business degree. Long-term, she would like to compete on the LPGA Tour, start her own business and help junior golfers learn how to play the game.
Leila Dizon graduated from Marlborough School in Los Angeles where she co-captain of the varsity golf team in her senior year, a Cum Laude Society member and a winner of the Princeton Book award. She was also a four-time MVP on the varsity golf team and placed second in the Big I National Championship 2016 where she represented California.
Dizon will attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Undergraduate Program with the hope of earning an MBA to become an influential female leader who will be able to inspire positive change in the business world.
Mateya Peters graduated from Griswold High School in Griswold, IA, where she was a talented all-round athlete who captained the varsity golf, volleyball, basketball, softball and track teams. She was also president of the Student Council and the National Honor Society. In varsity golf, she made the All-District team in 2016 and 2017, the All-Conference team in 2017 and was a two-time state qualifier.
Peters will attend Midland University where she plans to major in nursing with the longer-term objective of becoming a nurse practitioner. Beyond that, she has hopes of starting a non-profit organization that will help provide free medical care in various parts of the world for people in need.
Megan Whittaker graduated from Elkhorn South High School in Omaha, NE, where she captained the varsity golf team and also the track and field team. She became Nebraska Junior Girls Match Play Champion in 2016 and was runner-up in the Nebraska Junior Girls Amateur in 2017. A member of the National Honors Society, she was a junior class officer and a senior class officer for Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Whittaker will be attending the University of Nebraska, where she hopes to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business before one day establishing her own business.
Meryl Castle graduated from Wilson Central High School in Lebanon, TN, where she was a member of the Student Council, the BETA Club, the National Honors Society and the Spanish Club. She led her varsity golf team to an undefeated season in 2016, making both the District and All-District teams that year. Competing as the top player on her team, she won nine of 12 matches in 2016 and 2017.
Castle will be attending Milligan College where she plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in either science and nursing or as a physician assistant. Her career goal is to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.
Mia Kurkechian graduated from Naperville Central High School in Naperville, IL, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit Finalist. In her junior year, she was selected as a leader for Link Crew, the school’s freshman mentoring program. She was co-captain of the varsity golf team, was selected as an All-Conference honorable mention and competed in conference, regional and sectional tournaments.
Kurkechian will be attending Calvin College where she will pursue a career as a special education teacher, with the ultimate objective of making a difference in the lives of her future students.
Olivia Cunningham graduated from Father Ryan High School in Nashville, TN, where she was highly involved in academics and extra-curricular activities. She was a varsity golf team member all four years, a member of the National Honor Society and Latin Club, a peer mentor and student ambassador.
Cunningham will be attending Tusculum College, majoring in nursing. Her goal is to become a registered nurse and pursue a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner or CRNA to help others and improve society.
Olivia Whitten graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School in Palm Coast, FL, where she was Player of the Year all four years and captain of her golf team, a member of the National Honor Society and a candidate of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program, in addition to being drum major in the Marching Band and first chair in the Symphonic Band.
Whitten will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as an aviation business administration major and has set her sights on working for The Boeing Company at some point in the future.
Rachel Oh graduated from La Canada High School in Flintridge, CA, where she was captain of the golf team, player of the year and most valuable player in both her freshman and sophomore years, secretary of the Korean National Honor Society and president of the Technology Help Club.
Oh will attend UC Davis as a member of the golf team and major in biological sciences. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field and also develop her passion for helping others.
Rachel Rudd graduated from Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, FL, where she was a varsity golfer (four years), a tennis player (three years) and softball player (one year). She was also a Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps academic commander, color guard commander and class leader.
Rudd will be attending Faulkner University in the fall. Her goal is to major in criminal justice with minors in Spanish and psychology while pursuing her LPGA Tour card. She hopes to become a criminal behavior analyst.
Sarah Hinton graduated from Elizabethtown High School in Elizabethtown, KY, where she was on the varsity golf team and a regional champion as Golf House Kentucky Girls Player of the Year, Kentucky Junior Amateur Girls Champion and Kentucky PGA Junior Tour Champion.
Hinton will attend Lipscomb University, playing on the golf team and pursuing her bachelor’s degree to work with children as an elementary school teacher.
Sarah Willis graduated from Eaton High School in Eaton, OH, where she was a varsity letterman and a student leader. She was on the EHS boys golf team and served as captain in both her junior and senior years while setting Ohio High School State Championship 18-hole (2017) and 36-hole (2016) scoring records. She was also a student council class officer throughout her high school career.
Willis will be attending Penn State University in the Smeal College of Business. Her goal is to apply her competitive background in the business field and become a mergers and acquisitions consultant.
Sierra O’Keefe graduated from Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield, CT, where she was vice-president of her senior class, captain of the girls’ golf and ice hockey teams and a member of the All-Academic Team.
O’Keefe will head to Assumption College in Worcester, MA. Her career ambition is to become a doctor and help those in need.
Skylar Thompson graduated from Georgia Connections Academy in Duluth, GA, where she was on the honor roll, served as chapter president of the National Honor Society and was a member of the National England and Science Honor Societies.
Thompson will be attending University of South Carolina as a member of the golf team and majoring in environment science. It is her goal to play golf professionally or attend law school with a focus in environmental law.
Sophia Koester graduated from Grandview Heights High School in Columbus, OH, where she was one of the first students to play on the girls’ golf team and served as captain of the Varsity team in both her junior and senior year. She was a member of the National Honors Society and chapter president of Best Buddies.
Koester will be attending Suffolk University in Boston, MA, where she plans to study film and media a she pursues her passion for film making and photography.
Sydney Regalado graduated from Rosemount High School in Rosemount, MN, where she was a Triple A Award winner (Academics, Athletics and the Arts). She was named an Academic All-Conference athlete and Outstanding Academic Athlete as a member of the cross country team. She also made the All-Conference team for golf.
Regalado will be attending Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Her goal is to major in biochemistry and molecular biology and begin her medical career path.
Thomaphorn Supakit graduated from Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills, CA, where she was captain of her school’s golf team. She was involved in Key Club and volunteered in several community service programs in her local community.
Supakit will be attending California State University Maritime Academy. She plans to major in business administration or international business and then serve in the United States Navy for several years.
Vreni Todd graduated from Snohomish High School in WA, where she was a founding member of the Science Club, a National Honor Society member, a four-year varsity golfer and team captain, the 2017 district golf champion, player of the year and received the Joan Teats Inspirational Award. She also volunteered for the Social Science Club Outreach Program and Math Club.
Todd will attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she plans to study computer science or environmental studies. Her goal is to continue her education with a master’s degree in her field of study.
About The LPGA Foundation
Established in 1991, The LPGA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental and humanitarian golf initiatives.
Key priorities include: LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, The LPGA Leadership Academy, scholarships and the Dolores Hope LPGA Financial Assistance Initiative for those in the golf industry who are experiencing severe hardship. The LPGA Foundation is supported by corporate and private donations, foundation grants and contributions from LPGA members. For more information on how to contribute to The LPGA Foundation, please contact LPGA Headquarters, 100 International Golf Drive, Daytona Beach, FL 32124, or by phone, +1 386-274-6200 and on the web: https://lpgafoundation.org/donate.