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Ron Johnston Student Athlete Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Johnston Family
3 winners, $1,900 each
Application Deadline
Jun 13, 2023
Winners Announced
Jul 4, 2023
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate

Some athletes work hard and display great dedication but are hindered from pursuing schooling or sports because of the expense.

These students may be great athletes, but are outliers, just waiting for their opportunity to breakthrough. The Ron Johnston Student Athlete Scholarship seeks to support a passionate student athlete who needs financial assistance to help them accomplish their goals, dreams, and aspirations. 

Any student athlete in CA who is a high school senior or an undergraduate can apply for this scholarship. To apply, write about someone or something that has deeply inspired you in your journey and the impact is has left.

Selection Criteria:
Published February 7, 2023
Essay Topic

Write about someone or something that has deeply inspired you in your journey, and how it has impacted your educational goals.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Paris Brown
Lees-McRae CollegeRaleigh, NC
My greatest inspiration is my Single Mother who has made me the strong young woman I am today in high school. My Mother was only 19 years old when I was born and, because of that she had no choice but to grow up fast and missing out on her dream of playing basketball in College. Today, I am pursuing my dreams to further my education and play college basketball just like mother was in the year of 2004. January 7th, 2005, my mother embraced her new life, accepting reality and making the best of it all as a single mother. She wears many hats as a single parent. These include being a mother, father, doctor, nurse, home maker, bread winner, book keeper and coach. For me as her daughter, she is everything rolled into one all of which pulls her in many directions at the same time. Raising a little girl who is an athlete, going to school and working over 40 hours per week was extremely challenging. At a young age of 7, playing competitive soccer and travel basketball became a passion of mine. In addition to my mother, sports definitely helped me become who I am. Sports have helped me to develop integrity, sportsmanship, discipline, learn from mistakes, and make adjustments to strategies while having fun. These are all important aspects of taking initiative and skills needed to succeed in life. My most difficult obstacle along my journey as a high school student athlete training to play basketball in college was a major injury requiring surgery. On May 4th, 2022, May the Fourth be with you, I had surgery to repair my Hip. The Doctor told me the road to recovery would be long, I would not be able to walk for several months and likely won’t play my Senior Varsity year of Basketball. My entire life as an athlete there was not a day that went by that I was not playing sports until surgery. At the most challenging time in my life, I remember thinking about my single mother who has overcome many more obstacles and still achieved her dreams. I made a commitment to stay positive and work towards recovery. Five months later, I was back on the court playing and elevating my game for college basketball. My mother’s best strength is resilience in overcoming adversity. Thankfully, I have inherited her strength of resilience which helped in overcoming my injury and receiving 5 College Basketball Scholarship offers. I have achieved so much in the face of adversity and will continue to do my best in overcoming any challenges in the journey ahead. Your future is not determined by the problem life throws at you, it's determined by the attitude you bring to life. How you handle adversity greatly determines who you are as a person and what measure of success you will experience in life. Like my Mom, I am strong, independent and ambitious. Growing up watching her accomplish her dreams and advance professionally under all the circumstances she faced, inspires me to be the best version of myself. The next chapter in my journey after high school is to embrace the opportunity of college, advance my education, grow personally as well as build the necessary skills to enhance the organizations that I serve today and those I will serve in the future. Through passion, challenges and experiences, I have figured out my purpose; that purpose is to be a great student, leader, positively inspire others, and bring greatness within.
tony acevedo
University of Saint JosephLos Angeles, CA
My name is Tony Acevedo, I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2022, at 17 yr old, but my mom said she always knew, she knew I struggled, she knew simple tasks were sometimes hard, and I sometimes questioned why I couldn't be at the same level as my peers, academically and athletically. I stand 6’10” in height and have been tall all my life. Lucky for me I also fell in love with the sport of basketball, and I have been playing since I was 8 years old. I do believe that basketball although fast-paced, helped me cope and learn to deal with my ADHD, without knowing I had it. I always had trouble remembering game plays, and practices, and I could see my coaches' frustration. My struggles in school were just the same, I couldn't remember anything I studied when I couldn't remember when assignments were due, and I always remember my mom crying sometimes in frustration She hired tutors to help me get through school, but I still struggled. In my last two years of High School, I played on my varsity basketball team and I did very well, I could see myself improving. During the last couple of summers, my mom enrolled me in travel ball, which means we would travel locally and play more competitive teams. During one of these travel tournaments, I was approached by a scout for prep schools. I didn’t know what a prep school was and neither did my mom, But they called and my mom spoke to them and they told us a prep school to continue one additional year of high school would be ideal for me and they had a school that wanted me and would offer me a scholarship. I was 17 yrs old at this time and graduating earlier than my peers, so my mom thought the opportunity of an additional year of high school would be ideal for me, The thought of leaving all I know and my mom having a hard time with the thought of me leaving was a bit nerve-wracking. In the end, we determined that my leaving would be a good start to see how I can manage, I have online behavioral therapy sessions. I have also chosen to take a holistic approach to help me focus, by doing yoga once a week and taking a cocktail of vitamins to help me with my ADHD. My basketball season here has been a successful one and I’m currently being recruited by a couple of universities, which I am so grateful for. Basketball keeps me positive, it keeps me going and I know I need to stay on top of my academics so I can play. Basketball has been my outlet, the reason I have had this opportunity of attending a great boarding school away from home. Basketball helps me feel better about my learning disability because I know I struggle, but I am still a great basketball player. It motivates me, it encourages me to better myself every day. I want to pursue a career in professional basketball and kinesiology, to be able to help others like me understand their bodies and use sports as an outlet.
Hannah Karanick
Sage Oak Charter SchoolAnaheim, CA
I remember seeing his eyes well up with tears as the other kids teased him for his hygiene and clothes. I was only in second grade, but the teasing I witnessed that day was etched in my mind. When I got home from school, I asked my parents if we could help my classmate. He and his younger sister became my foster siblings within a few weeks. Over my lifetime, I've had fifteen foster siblings. Their stories of hardship, from living in abusive homes to not knowing when their next meal would be, have taught me compassion and patience. Their stories have changed my goals for my own life, too. Rather than following my entrepreneurial drive to create a company for profit, my life's goal is to create an influential charity for children. I have done that on a small scale in my community with my charity, Hannah's Helpful Hands, which provides basic necessities to low-income youth in twelve elementary schools. My charity is an anonymous closet within the schools that provides toiletry bags, laundry supplies, new clothes, quilts made by my grandma, backpacks, and gift cards for new shoes. I restock the closet weekly and fundraise to keep the closet full. This vital endeavor has taught me leadership, communication skills, and perseverance. As I have overcome many obstacles, I have learned that I must deliberately prepare myself to continue my story as a champion for charities and their essential work. My college education will be an invaluable asset to my goal of creating a successful and sustainable charity that can positively impact my community. Through my studies, I will better understand the social issues and trends impacting the children in my community and the larger national environment. With this knowledge, I will better create an effective strategy for tackling these issues. I will also use my college education to gain the skills to manage a charity effectively. My studies will provide me with the necessary knowledge of budgeting, fundraising, marketing, and communications, as well as the legal and ethical considerations that come with running a charity. I will also be able to develop a strong network of contacts, locally and nationally, to help me reach my goals. Ultimately, my college education will provide me with the tools and resources needed to create a charity that can make a lasting, positive impact on my community. With a strong understanding of the social issues and trends impacting children, as well as the skills and connections necessary to manage a charity effectively, I will be able to create a charity that makes a real difference in the lives of those in need. My foster siblings have forever changed my young life; they were the kickstart in my journey to help those less fortunate than me. I have become more grateful for the things I once took for granted, and in return, I am motivated to use that gratitude to help as many young lives as possible. My future college education will help me make an even bigger positive impact on my community by providing me with the necessary knowledge and skills to create and operate a successful charity. I am thrilled that my university path in Communications and Business will be a growth opportunity for greater training, mentorship, and vision.
Elizalynn Lotu
Silver Valley HighFort Irwin, CA
I grew up in an athletic family. Everyone played everything, whether it was their sport or not. My favorite sport is volleyball. I grew up on any type of court, sand, wood, or gravel. My family inspires me. I moved to the states in 2012 from American Samoa barely speaking English. I joined a club team when I was 12 years old and I was put into the 18U team. And I officially became the youngest starting player for Saint Clair County Volleyball Club in Missouri. I communicated through volleyball. I ended up moving due to my mother being in the military which made no difference to me. All I wanted to do was play volleyball the first thing I did moving to California was to look for a volleyball open gym. Later on I found the closest volleyball club to me was an hour away from the Army base I live on. It was tough, but my family helped me balance out school, church, and volleyball. My first year here I didn't have a drivers license to go from bible study, to school, to practice, and back in time to make dinner. At four in the morning was bible study, my older brother would take me since he has work at five, My bus comes at six in the morning since school is an hour away. After school is out, I would catch a ride from another teammate to practice which was at the high school in the next town over. One of my parents would drive an hour to pick me up from practice and drive back to base. If it wasn't for the support for my family I wouldn't push so hard to be the best student athlete. Being the only girl and the youngest of eight brothers, they set the bar pretty high for me. It wasn't that difficult to break through it when my family has high expectations for me. I am proud of myself, I have accomplished a lot on and off the court, and I owe it all to my family.
Seth Saffell
Castro Valley HighCastro Valley, CA
My parents have been my inspiration as they are my biggest supporters and never stop telling me it’s possible to achieve my goals. Their interest in golf and education kept my dream alive everyday. Watching the family struggle financially to support us kids buying golf equipment and entering tournaments inspired me to do my best, care about grades and make sure I do what I can to thank my family and honor the game of golf. In 2018 my dad had skull surgery and we were homeless a few months later. Even homeless I completed all schoolwork, at night I did homework by the front seat dome light, never missed school and practiced golf everyday. Thankfully, we had a place after a few months. This experience taught me a lot about life and about continuing to work hard through the setbacks. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are also inspirational icons. Not only because they are two of the greats but they are both colorblind like me. Knowing that colorblindness isn’t a disability but maybe an advantage has made me embrace an issue that made me different from everyone else. My little brother is a huge supporter - even though he competes in the same things and is on the same high school team as I - he never gets envious and always congratulates me when I excel. Just watching and learning from the all the people that have cared about me has been inspiring.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 13, 2023. Winners will be announced on Jul 4, 2023.

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