Phoenix Suns Charities Awards $37,000 in College Scholarships

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
Posted: March 31, 2011

Seventeen high school seniors from throughout Arizona have been named winners in the Phoenix Suns Charities’ SunStudents Scholarship program. Sixteen of the students will receive a $2,000 scholarship to be used for educational expenses at the college or university of their choice.

In addition, Rosaria Strait of Mountain View High School was named winner of the Kevin Johnson Scholar Award and will receive a total of $5,000 in scholarship funds. The announcement was made at halftime during yesterday’s (Sunday, March 27) Suns/Mavericks game at US Airways Center.

The scholarship, named for the Suns’ former All-Star point guard Kevin Johnson, was created in recognition of Johnson’s retirement and honors the spirit of learning and community service espoused by Johnson during his tenure with the Phoenix Suns. This season marks the ninth year the Kevin Johnson award has been presented.

“Our scholarship committee was thoroughly impressed with this year’s applicants,” said Kathy Pidgeon, Executive Director of Phoenix Suns Charities. “Several of our recipients will be the first in their family to attend college and all of the recipients have faced difficult circumstances on the road to a college education. Phoenix Suns Charities applauds their determination and stellar academic records coupled with countless hours of community service.”

More than 200 applicants from across the state were judged on their community involvement, scholastic performance, letters of recommendation and an essay on overcoming adversity. In addition to the essay, students were required to submit a list of their community and school involvement, letters of recommendation and transcripts.

The SunStudents Scholarship program is sponsored by Phoenix Suns Charities, the team’s foundation that assists the needs of children. Over the past 20 years, the foundation has distributed more than $10 million in charitable grants and scholarships.

The 2011 Phoenix Suns Charities SunStudents Scholarship recipients are:

  • Rosaria Strait of Mountain View High School (Kevin Johnson Scholar Award)
  • Shantanu Bala of Barry Goldwater High School
  • Katie Brewer of Pinnacle High School
  • Zachary Briefer of Catalina Foothills High School
  • William Brown of Sandra Day O’Connor High School
  • Rudy Chen of Desert Vista High School
  • Natasa Danilovic of Deer Valley High School
  • Bennett Dwosh of Pinnacle High School
  • Tyson Estelle of Valley Union High School
  • Marley Flechsig of Agua Fria Union High School
  • Saira Khan of Hamilton High School
  • Myles Maietta of Hamilton High School
  • Candace Prosise of Glendale High School
  • Emily Simmons of Xavier College Preparatory
  • Christopher White of Brophy College Preparatory
  • Alex Yazdi of actus Shadows High School
  • Connie Zuo of Hamilton High School
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