INDIANAPOLIS, May 23, 2013 – USA Gymnastics gives out annual trampoline and tumbling scholarships to elite level trampoline and tumbling athletes based on a number of factors including: GPA, educational goals, prior competitive performance, financial need, athletic potential, leadership, reference letters and an essay. Some of the individual scholarships look for other specific characteristics. USA Gymnastics recognizes that college-age athletes are essential to our international competitive standing. The scholarship fund was established 11 years ago in order to give these athletes every opportunity to meet the demands of higher education while still training and competing for the program. This year, the scholarships were given out at the U.S. Elite Challenge in Frisco, Texas. There is a five-member scholarship committee who evaluates the applications and presents the awards.
Below is a list of the 2013 award winners and information about the particular scholarship.
2013 Scholarship Recipients
Austin White - USA Gymnastics T&T - $2,500
Kalon Ludvigson - USA Gymnastics T&T - $2,500
Spencer Jefferson - USA Gymnastics T&T - $1,500
Alexi Shostak - USA Gymnastics T&T - $1,500
Erynn Steir - USA Gymnastics T&T - $1,500
The $5,000 Jeff T. Hennessey Scholarship was established to afford deserving athletes the opportunity to pursue academic and athletic excellence. This scholarship honoring Coach Hennessey's career and commitment to the sport of trampoline and tumbling is awarded annually to the qualified applicant that best exhibits the attributes of athletic achievement, sportsmanship and scholarship.
Kristle Lowell - Jeff T. Hennessey - $2,500
Audrey Ghanian - Jeff T. Hennessey - $2,500
The $5,000 Tyson Smith Scholarship is named for the son of Carole Smith and the late Craig Smith, and beloved brother of Brooke Smith. Tyson was an outstanding all around athlete and competed in the sport of trampoline and tumbling representing Naples Progressive Gymnastics in Florida and as a national team member for the United States. Tyson was killed in February 2003 in a tragic traffic accident. Tyson's many athletic accomplishments include being the first athlete from Florida to represent the USA in international competition. In Tyson's career he won seven national titles, three international titles and was a three time AAU All-American. This scholarship award is presented to the Trampoline and Tumbling athlete who has shown him or herself to exhibit the talent, diversity and sportsmanship that defined Tyson's life. This year there was a tie for the award.
Dakota Earnest - Tyson Smith - $2,500
Alex Renkert - Tyson Smith - $2,500
The $5,000 Jordan Bonne Memorial Scholarship is dedicated to the memory of USA Gymnastics Trampoline athlete Jordan Bonne. Jordan was an exceptional young man whose family and teammates were privileged to have known his spirit, enthusiasm, sportsmanship and faith. Our entire sporting community felt the loss of Jordan, but his young life served as an inspiration to his family, team and church. The recipient of this scholarship is the athlete whose career and performance best exhibits Jordan's love for our sport and his sense of fairness, academic excellence and spiritual faith.
Deana Parris - Jordan Bonne - $5,000
The $5,000 George Nissen Memorial Scholarship is dedicated to the memory of trampoline inventor George Nissen. George's contribution to the sport of gymnastics touches every athlete that has competed in the sport. He was a true inspiration to those around him and dedicated his life to the advancement of the sport of trampoline as well as the human spirit. The recipient of this scholarship is presented to a trampoline competitor that continues to strive to reach new heights in the sport while pursuing academic excellence and inspiring others.
Steven Gluckstein - George Nissen - $2,500
Savannah Vinsant - George Nissen - $2,500