North Carolina Division
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Meet 2020 Scholarship Recipient Laura Sloan

Throughout her high school career, Laura was blessed with the ability to achieve many of the goals she set for herself, as well as many other accomplishments along the way. 
From a young age, she played soccer, and it became a lifestyle rather than a hobby. Because of the level of dedication and commitment required to become the player she always dreamed of becoming, she was a student of the game. She spent all of her free time training individually, with her team, running, lifting and studying the improvements she needed to make.  She took advantage of every opportunity she was given to play soccer.  She played with multiple teams at a high level.  She also participated in college recruiting camps. Teams she had never heard of asked her to play for them as a “guest” player. Laura says, “Now, though I am saddened to say that my time as an athlete has come to an end, I can say I have reaped long-term benefits, and learned countless life lessons from this beautiful game.”  
These preparations  have allowed her to achieve many honors such as being a four-year starter for the Varsity Women’s Soccer team at Forbush High School, the Coach’s Award of Excellence, Defensive Player of the Year for the 2A class, as well as for her athletic conference, two time All-State Player, team MVP, Student-Athlete of the Month, and finally, being named team captain her junior and senior years. 
Many people she knows think being team captain is all about being first in line. Not her. Laura says “I took on the role of team captain, I wanted to change that. As a captain, you lead by example, listen just as much as you teach and offer any advice you have for any situation. As a team leader, I wanted my team to know that I would not keep any knowledge or experience I had from them. I wanted to help the younger players be even better than I ever was. By helping others, I found I was growing as well. To see my teammates succeed meant more than any award ever could.”
Off the field, she focused on her academics and community service.  She was a member of the National Beta Club, National Honor Society and was a Junior Civitan. Being in these clubs allowed her great opportunities for community service.  She was a counselor at a week-long camp for abused, at-risk children, and a soccer skills camp for youth players. She also helped with Operation Christmas Child collections, a Valentine’s Day dance for special needs adults and making cards for medically-fragile children at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital. 
Academically, she graduated summa cum laude, earned the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and the Marine Corps Award for Scholastic Excellence. She was a Junior Marshall and was in the top 10 in her class.  She was accepted to Gardner-Webb University, awarded its Trustee Scholarship, and was a finalist for its Ignite Academic Excellence Scholarship. At GWU, she will study Exercise Science and plans to be a physical therapist. 
Laura said “Only recently did I decide I wanted to be a physical therapist. On December 20, 2019, my father, a police officer, was shot twice in the line of duty. Seeing how his physical therapists helped him recover and return to full duty, inspired me to do the same for other people. While achieving these professional goals are important to me, my chief end is to do my absolute best to honor my Savior in everything. It’s the least I can do, when He did so much for me.”


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