North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Pair from Wake Forest win NC National Guard Scholar-Athlete Essay Contest

CHAPEL HILL—Tara Wadford and Joseph Hannum of Wake Forest High School won top honors in the sixth NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete essay contest. Winners were chosen blindly by a panel of judges with criteria that included originality, content, organization and grammar. 

The NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete program, powered by the North Carolina National Guard, is one of the Association’s most popular voluntary programs and recognizes excellence in the classroom as well as on the playing court or field.

As part of the program, the NCHSAA offered the essay contest, with student-athletes submitting a 400-word essay. This semester’s prompt had student-athletes choose one of the NC National Guards core values: Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity and personal courage and describe how they demonstrate one of these values in their daily life as a scholar-athlete. One male and one female winner were chosen from the pool of entries and received a FitBit Flex 2 fitness wristband, and prize pack from the NCHSAA and National Guard.

Wadford is a sophomore at Wake Forest High School who competes in softball.  She said, “In my life as a scholar-athlete, I learn something daily about selfless-service.  Putting others before myself, their needs before my own and putting their betterment as a priority; that’s what it should truly look like.” Wadford discussed the core value of selfless-service and how everyone on the team, demonstrating selfless-service, allowed them to make it to the fourth round of the state playoffs.

The female runner up was Ellen McAdams a senior from Riverside High School (Durham) who competes in soccer and swimming and diving.

Hannun a senior wrestler at Wake Forest High School. Discussed the North Carolina National Guard core value of respect. Hannun demonstrated respect when he stood up for a female who wanted to join the team to the dismay of the current team.  He said, “I couldn’t with good conscious call myself a ‘leader’ of the team if I felt those values [respect] were not being upheld, because a leader isn’t someone that allows the perpetuation of disrespect.”    

The male runner up was Joseph Jegier a junior basketball and soccer player from Providence High School.

Congratulations to the winners and look for the next North Carolina National Guard Scholar-Athlete Essay competition in April of 2017.