Thanks to the generosity of the I C You Foundation and Arthur & Helen Copeland, each year, USABA offers scholarships to members who exhibit exceptional drive in athletic achievement and educational endeavors.
We are proud to present the I C You Foundation Valor Achievement Award and Arthur E. & Helen Copeland scholarships to four USABA athletes who demonstrate a passion for bettering themselves through sport and education.
Congratulations to the following students for being awarded USABA scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year!
I C You Foundation Valor Achievement Award Winners: McClain Hermes (Dacula, Ga.) and Jayden Yamada (Bellevue, Wash.)
McClain Hermes has accepted a Presidential scholarship to study at Loyola University in Baltimore, Md., beginning this fall. She is a Paralympic swimmer who currently holds 20 American records, five Pan American records and one world record for the S11 and S12 vision classes. In 2018, Hermes won two gold and four silver medals at the Pan Pacific.Swimming Championships.
“To me the Paralympic movement means sharing how truly strong we all are in our own ways and the ways that we can overcome obstacles in the face of adversity. I want to encourage those around me to always just keep swimming.”
Jayden Yamada has been accepted to DigiPen Institute of Technology where he will apply his passion for gaming and computer science in a quest to make gaming more accessible. He sees this scholarship as allowing him to get one step closer to the career field of his dreams. Because the majority of his computer work is done in a chair, Yamada gets his exercise playing goalball with the King Cobras team and has competed in multiple USABA tournaments.
“This experience (goalball) has taught me self-improvement, confidence and dedication. In addition, I learned commitment and time management. Goalball has brought my family together; this is one of the few activities where all of us get to participate. My sister is a volunteer referee while both my parents are volunteer coaches. Goalball has been an instrumental part of my development.”
Arthur E. & Helen Copeland Scholarship Winners: Elizabeth Chantry (Orem, Utah) and Viridiana Nakayama (Grayslake, Ill.)
Elizabeth Chantry began classes at Brigham Young this summer where she is studying music education with a focus on instrumental music. She hopes to use her degree to become a high school music teacher and band director. At the age of 10 she learned to play goalball and has progressed in the sport to where she won two bronze medals and one silver medal at the USABA High School Goalball National Championships. Named to the USABA All-American team from 2016-18, Chantry was also a member of the USA Youth National Team that placed fifth at the 2017 World Youth Championships in Hungary.
“Goalball has given me the opportunity to work toward goals. I have learned that sometimes things are difficult, like losing a game, but we can keep trying and working, and eventually we will reach our goals. I have applied this lesson as I have taken difficult classes at school and when I have had setbacks in my musical goals.”
Viridiana Nakayama will start at Harper College this fall where she will study dietetics in hopes of becoming a registered dietician. As a youth, Nakayama played many sports such as basketball, soccer, baseball and kickball. After losing her vision due to retinitis pigmentosa in 8th grade, she began participating in goalball with the Windy City Fire team where she plays center.
“I enjoy playing with them (Windy City Fire) because I like to be part of a team. I like to talk with my team about new techniques to be better players. By playing goalball, I have met other players that have given me ideas about how to be successful in school since they are also visually impaired. I hope to continue playing goalball and become a Paralympic player one day.”
The I C You Foundation Valor Achievement Award is made possible through the generosity of Markeith Price’s I C You Foundation and the Arthur E. and Helen Copeland scholarships are made possible by founders of USABA, Arthur and Helen Copeland. Scholarships are awarded to students who are legally blind, enrolled in a two or four-year college, university or technical school and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Click here to learn more about USABA’s scholarship program.