Whittell’s White receives Gene Upshaw Memorial Scholarship during celebrity golf tournament | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell’s White receives Gene Upshaw Memorial Scholarship during celebrity golf tournament

STATELINE, Nev. — Anna White was full of nerves as sat down at the press table to receive a special award Saturday morning during the 29th annual American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

She sat in the same chair that was recently used by celebrity golfers such as Steph Curry, Tony Romo, Mark Mulder, Joe Pavelski and John Smoltz.

Then, with video cameras rolling and photographers snapping away, the George Whittell High School senior grabbed the microphone and spoke eloquently and answered confidently.

White was this year's recipient of the 10th annual Gene Upshaw Memorial Scholarship, a $5,000 award given annually to a deserving Whittell senior. Edgewood and NBC each kick in $2,500. White earned the award after submitting an essay on Upshaw's life, beating out five other anonymous submissions.

"It was nerve-wracking at first and I was definitely beforehand, but once I got up there, everyone made me feel really comfortable and confident," White said. "At the end of the day, all I felt was gratitude for being given the award and getting to share a part of my story and what I plan to do with the scholarship money, with some of the people that gave it to me."

White was flanked at the press table by Corinna Osborne, general manager with Edgewood Companies, Terri Upshaw, wife of NFL Hall of Famer and former executive director of the NFL players' association Gene Upshaw, and Gary Quinn, representing NBC.

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The audience included Anna's mom and dad, Janeen and Mark; her younger brother Jack, a Whittell sophomore; her best friend Caroline Krolicki, a South Tahoe graduate who recently sang the national anthem during the Amgen Tour of California's stop on the South Shore; and Whittell counselor Estela Gerlinger.

White has accumulated a 4.45 grade-point average in her first three years at Whittell, never earning below an A-minus. She is involved in everything Whittell and was the junior class vice president, an office she is planning to run for as a senior. She is the team captain for the Warriors soccer team in the fall.

She is a hospital volunteer and may choose to go into nursing, or environmental science, when she attends college at Arizona State or San Diego State and will use her scholarship money toward out-of-state tuition and books. She is a community volunteer with canned food drives, childcare and also is a community center volunteer. She also works at a local beach grill.

Terri Upshaw said she was blown away by White's accomplishments at 17 years old and the winning essay she submitted about her late husband.