Whittell’s Sharon awarded Upshaw scholarship
Daria Sharon is a standout student, multiple-sport athlete, and leader at Whittell High. Those qualities and more led to her receiving the seventh-annual Gene Upshaw Scholarship award, given in memory of the NFL Hall of Famer to a student that shares his characteristics.
“I know that there are a lot of great students and leaders in my grade, and just to be able to represent Mr. Upshaw with my leadership, my academics and my athletics is an incredible honor,” Sharon said. “It’s really an honor to be linked to his legacy.”
An incoming senior at Whittell, Sharon has maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA throughout the past three years while taking multiple Advanced Placement classes. She plays soccer, basketball, softball and cheers for the Warriors — and was named the state Defensive MVP while anchoring Whittell’s Div. III state championship girls soccer team.
Sharon will be the school’s student body vice president next year. Outside of school and athletics, she is a member of multiple community service organizations — at the American Century Championship, she volunteered for Soroptimist Club by serving concessions throughout the week.
“Just knowing that everything that I’m doing now while I’m still young, healthy and able to do it all,” Sharon said of her daily motivation. “While I go to Whittell and have an opportunity to play so many sports and be in so many clubs, it’s only going to help me in my future to create a good future for myself and to help others.”
Sharon named Stanford University as her dream school, and said she plans to study business in college. Her essay as part of the application process focused on leadership, mainly by running Whittell’s defense on the soccer pitch and constantly supporting her teammates on the softball diamond.
“It’s important not only to help yourself but to help others because it’s a team sport,” Sharon said about winning the softball team’s Most Inspirational Player award. “You can’t do anything without being together and being cheered on.”
NBC Sports and Edgewood Companies both contribute equally to the $5,000 scholarship, which is awarded to individuals possessing characteristics of leadership, community service and academic excellence — Upshaw played in the ACC nine times before passing away suddenly from pancreatic cancer. Terri Upshaw, Gene’s widow, was at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course to present the award during a ceremony Sunday morning.
“This scholarship award represents a lot of what Gene thought about our young students and youth of today,” Terri Upshaw said. “It’s about academics, it’s about athletics and it’s about community service — and Daria represents that.”