By Owen Gotimer
Purcellville (May 2, 2017) — Woodgrove High School senior Puneet Kaur has been awarded a $20,000 scholarship as one of 20 student-athletes honored in the sixth-annual Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program.
“I’m the second person in my family to go to college, behind my older sister, so this scholarship will help my future endeavors,” Kaur said.
For the sixth consecutive year, Foot Locker is recognizing students who demonstrate academic excellence and exemplify strong leadership skills both in sports and within their communities.
“The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program celebrates and honors outstanding students like Puneet who have taken the skills they’ve acquired through sports and applied them to excel academically and become leaders within their communities,” Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson said. “We recognize the tremendous potential of our 20 winners and are deeply committed to providing unique educational opportunities to empower today’s youth to succeed.”
“I think what made me stand out from other applicants was balancing so many activities,” Kaur said. “I am heavily involved throughout my school community as well as the local community.”
On top of her athletic pursuits as a member of the varsity basketball and track & field teams at Woodgrove, Kaur started a school-wide walk and club to raise awareness about mental health issues.
“I’ve lost a few friends to suicide and some close friends of mine deal with mental illness on a daily basis. I wanted to create something so that people would understand the impact a person has and that every life is important,” Kaur said. “There are too many instances where people don’t get help because they don’t think it’s there or they’re afraid; I wanted to break that barrier and help those who were suffering.”
Kaur plans to study information systems and cybersecurity at George Mason University starting this fall – where she will also compete for the Patriots’ Division I track & field team. She hopes to use her education to start non-profit organizations that help spread sports and technology to underprivileged kids throughout the United States and, hopefully, the globe.
“This scholarship is going to make those dreams come true,” Kaur said. “I was blessed to be born in a country where there were a lot of opportunities and parents that were supportive of every decision I made. I want to help kids who don’t have that support and opportunity.”
As someone who is highly involved in her school and community, Kaur offered a closing piece of advice to younger students in Loudoun.
“Get involved in your school and your community with topics that you’re interested in,” Kaur said. “And don’t follow the ‘norm’; be your own person!”