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Upstate, Midlands Student Tennis Athletes Awarded College Scholarships

August 3, 2017 11:51 AM

Upstate, Midlands Student Tennis Athletes Awarded College Scholarships

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Four former South Carolina high school tennis players have each been awarded $2,000 for their academic, community service and tennis achievements from the South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association of South Carolina.

Trina Pham of Greenville Technical Charter High School, Cathy Chi of Southside High School, Gracie Waldron of Clinton High School and Alison Walsh of Dutch Fork High School each have been awarded $2,000 scholarships by the foundation.

A committee of volunteers chose the four recent high school graduates based on their academic achievement, character, sportsmanship, extracurricular activities, community service and notable tennis achievements. Applicants also had to submit an essay titled, “The Impact of Tennis on My Life.” 

The South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation funds two of the $2,000 scholarships. The two scholarships were established in 1993 and recently were named to honor two prominent South Carolina tennis advocates: Lucy Garvin, former USTA president, and the late Jim Russell, former president of the South Carolina Tennis Association. The South Carolina Tennis Patrons Foundation is a 501c3 registered nonprofit charity supported by contributions, which are tax-deductible.

The Randall G. Heffron, D.M.D. Memorial Scholarship Award is funded through contributions made to the Coastal Community Foundation. It was established in 2005 in honor of the late South Carolina tennis advocate and champion.

The Foster Family Scholarship is funded by Ms. Amy Foster Martin.  It was established in recognition and memory of Sonny and Jerry Foster in 2016. 

Below is more information about each scholarship recipient:

Lucy Garvin Scholarship
Trina Pham, Greenville Technical Charter High School
Tennis Achievement: In 2016, Trina’s high school team placed #1 and #2 in doubles. She serves as the President of the Greenville Junior Team Tennis Teen Council.  
College: Clemson University
Quote from Essay: “Tennis has opened so many doors in my life that I couldn’t be able to name them all in this paper. It has given me lifelong friendships with the boys and girls at my club. In addition, I was hired as an assistant tennis coach because of my passion for the sport. Most importantly, tennis has shown me the impact of giving back to a community.”

Jim Russell Scholarship
Cathy Chi, Southside High School
Tennis Achievement: In high school, Cathy was the 2015 SC Coaches Association for Women’s Sports Class AAA Player of the Year, the 2015 Greenville News Girls Tennis Player of the Year, 2-time All State Athlete, 2-time Region Player of the Year and 3-time MVP.
College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Quote from Essay: “Nothing compares to competing in a third set tiebreaker in the scorching summer heat after 2 exhausting hours of tennis. Despite the mental and physical exhaustion, my desire to win enabled me to persevere and emerge victorious. Pain is only temporary, while the feeling of success is priceless. However, part of being mentally tough is also knowing how to respond to losses, an inevitable part of competition. Losses should be perceived as an opportunity to become a better player rather than as a painful end in a tennis tournament. In many ways, I learn more from my losses than my wins. The mental component of tennis catalyzed my growth as both a fearsome competitor and a humble player who still has a lot to learn.”

Randall G. Heffron, D.M.D. Memorial Scholarship
Gracie Waldron, Clinton High School|
Tennis Achievement: Gracie received the team MVP award in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade and the conference MVP award in 11th grade. As a senior, she was recevied All-State. In 2016, Gracie received the USTA SC Mark Hodgin Sportsmanship Award.
College: Charleston Southern University
Quote from Essay: “I have learned a tremendous amount from playing tennis. This game is different from any other sport because of the amount of mental toughness and physical endurance that is needed to be successful. I have learned that success does not come easy in life but instead it takes dedication, passion, and a great amount of hard work. Tennis has taught me life skills like these that I have to use every day.”

Foster Family Scholarship Award
Alison Walsh, Dutch Fork High School
Tennis Achievement: Alison was on the varsity tennis team for six years. Her team made it to the state championships four years and they won her sophomore year.
College: Limestone College
Quote from Essay: “Tennis has taught me to push myself and fight through adversity to be the best I can be on and off the court.  It has strengthened me by teaching me to believe in myself and understand that in life, you will make mistakes.  You just cannot give up.  Tennis has helped me keep my body healthy, and to be able to handle time management with school, clubs, volunteering, and work.”




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