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How a Local Foundation is Helping High School Football Stars Shine Brighter

Published on Monday, February 26, 2024 | 6:34 pm

They are the best of the best on the field and in the classroom. They are the leaders of their teams and their communities. They are the future.

And they are the 48 high school football players who will receive the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards from the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation on Wednesday, Feb. 28, during the 58th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet at Almansor Court in Alhambra at 6:00 p.m.

The SGV Chapter of the National Football Foundation is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that acknowledges and celebrates high school senior scholar athletes at the awards gala each year.

Nominees are selected on criteria that include maintaining a minimum 3.0 grade point average, participating in the varsity team during their senior year, and demonstrating exceptional academic excellence, football achievement, and leadership both on- and off-campus.

“This year we will be awarding $19,000 in scholarships to deserving young men throughout the San Gabriel Valley,” Tony Ortega, President of the NFF SGV Chapter, said. “Many will be first-generation college students and are committed to some of the most prestigious colleges/universities in the country.”

A statement from the chapter said the scholarship funds are raised through the foundation’s annual golf tournament and generous contributions from community organizations and individuals.

Eligibility for the scholarship program extends to student-athletes from various schools in the San Gabriel Valley, including those bordering St. Francis to the northwest, Bell Gardens to the southwest, Claremont to the northeast, and Cal High to the southeast.

The statement said past scholarship recipients include James Arellanes, Longino Cornejo, Ethan Francis, and Cody Kautz, who are examples of the foundation’s dedication to recognizing and supporting exceptional scholar-athletes.

The banquet features keynote speakers such as Mason Bryant, a former Monrovia High School Scholar-Athlete. Some previous scholarship recipients and their families are also expected to attend the event.

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