Foot Locker Supports Students' Dreams Amid COVID Pandemic, Surprises 20 High School Seniors Across the Country with $20,000 Game-Changing Scholarships

May 28, 2020 at 3:30 PM EDT

NEW YORK, May 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- School closures continue to impact millions of students across the country who are no longer able to experience the moments they've dreamed about and worked toward. During a time when the majority of students agree financial aid will be necessary for them to pay for college1, and when families are facing more uncertainty about their economic futures than ever before, the Foot Locker Foundation continues to support college accessibility and affordability for outstanding student athletes through its Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program. For the ninth consecutive year, the Foot Locker Foundation has awarded $20,000 scholarships to 20 exceptional students.

On May 21, the selected finalists joined a virtual discussion, facilitated by content creator and media personality Tony Mui, to connect with one another about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their lives and communities.

The robust discussion explored how students are coping and provided an opportunity for them to share words of advice to their fellow high school seniors. "People have to have patience," said Rishab Jagetia of Houston, TX. "I miss my senior year so much. I wish I could be with all of my friends. But I know if I take the right actions now to try to flatten the curve, it's going to play out later."

The finalists were then surprised with a celebratory reveal by NBA player Collin Sexton, who announced that they were all actually winners of the 2019/2020 Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship. "I know it's been tough for high school seniors everywhere, who have had to miss out on major milestones," said the Cleveland Cavaliers guard. "I'm honored to team up with Foot Locker to help reward these student athletes for all of their hard work and dedication, especially during this time." View the virtual discussion on Foot Locker's YouTube channel.

Seniors Matine Khalighi of Denver, CO, and Jacqueline van Zyl of Peachtree City, GA, are another two of the incredible 20 students who were awarded the prestigious Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship. Each is an exemplary role model in athletic ability, academic achievement, and community leadership and serves as an inspiration for future scholar athletes.

Matine Khaligh runs varsity cross country and is a tireless leader who constantly works on making his community and the world a better place. His greatest accomplishment is founding and building Helping the Homeless Colorado, the largest youth-run homeless alleviation nonprofit organization in the country. To date, his organization has raised $135,000 and distributed over 50,000 basic necessities to those in need, and has awarded over $15,000 a year in scholarships for homeless students to earn associate's degrees. He also helped to develop its very first state-wide social awareness campaign named #SpreadTheLove on live television. As Student Body President, Matine leads his fellow school leaders in making their school a more inclusive, fun, and memorable environment. He was honored with the Ashoka Pioneer Award and President's Volunteer Service Award, has maintained a 4.698 GPA, earned 1450 on SAT, 32 on ACT, and has been on the Principal's Honor Roll for four consecutive years. Matine is planning to study international relations and human rights in college. He aspires to become a human rights lawyer and hopes to stay involved in his nonprofit work.

This year, amidst the stories of thousands of deserving students, another dynamic scholar athlete stood out. Selected for her stellar performance on and off the court, Jacqueline van Zyl is the embodiment of a world-class athlete and academic achiever. Jacqueline van Zyl plays varsity soccer and has earned a position on a National League team with AFC Lightning. Uniting her passion for soccer and uplifting others, Jacqueline co-founded Kickoff for Kurland, a global charity that provides sports equipment and uniforms to support South African township soccer teams. Her original and ground-breaking research in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics led her to invent life-impacting devices for people with disabilities and win numerous awards in science, engineering, and robotics, including an Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 4th Place Grand Award and being selected for the Research Science Institute at MIT. With a deep passion for science, engineering and inspiring others, she co-founded her school's STEM Student Leadership Committee and serves as President of the Technology Student Association to inspire involvement across STEM. A 4.0 GPA student and Salutatorian of her graduating class, she has earned an astounding 1590 out of 1600 SAT score and 36 out of 36 on the ACT, and is a member of seven honor societies at her high school. Jacqueline is planning to study mechanical and nanoengineering and start a company that uses nanotechnology to make a global impact.

Jacqueline is a true symbol of the values of the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program, and the Foundation is proud to announce her as the recipient of the Ken C. Hicks Scholarship. This additional $5,000 scholarship (totaling $25,000) is awarded each year to one of the 20 inductees for exemplifying superior academic achievement, passion for the community, and a true love of the game. It is named in honor of Foot Locker's former Chairman and CEO.

"In these unprecedented and challenging times, we're more committed than ever to supporting and empowering young people to pursue their dreams and attend college," states Richard A. Johnson, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Foot Locker, Inc. "The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program continues to be an important platform to celebrate some of the most talented and exceptional young scholar athletes across the country, who are making a tremendous impact within their communities."

The availability of scholarship programs, such as the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program, can make a real difference in the affordability of a college education. This year's 20 winners will join the program's eight previous classes of Foot Locker Scholar Athletes, which represents 180 total scholarship recipients since the program's inception in 2011. With the 2020 Class, the Foot Locker Foundation will have invested more than $3 million in the education and future of some of America's most promising scholar athletes. Supporting this all-star program is Fastweb, a trusted scholarship and financial aid resource used by students and some of the scholarship winners to help find opportunities to pay for school.

This year's awardees come from diverse backgrounds and represent a variety of sports disciplines, personal achievements, and community involvement. Despite overcoming economic hardships, loss, natural disasters, and chronic illnesses, these young people have created inspiring opportunities through leadership in athletics, academics and within their communities.

Download assets HERE. Snapshots of the winners are below. To learn more, visit:

Winner Name


High School


Addy Battel

Cass City, MI


Rowing, Swimming

Andre Yeung

Arcadia, CA

Arcadia High School

Ice Hockey

Ankush Dhawan

Newburgh, IN

Signature School

Basketball, Soccer, Golf, Tennis

Brooke Gallo

Clark, NJ

Arthur L. Johnson High School

Tennis, Basketball, Soccer

Brooklyn Wright

Powder Springs, GA

Hiram High School

Cheerleading, Golf

Davis Owens

Louisville, KY

J. Graham Brown School

Soccer, Tennis

Germaine Harvey

Pasadena, CA

Flintridge Preparatory School

Baseball, Football

Hussain Hassan

Atlanta, GA

Fugees Academy


Jacqueline van Zyl

Peachtree City, GA

McIntosh High School

Soccer, Autocross Racing

Johan Cruz Hernandez

Holyoke, MA

Northfield Mount Hermon

Cross Country, Field & Track, Swimming, Basketball

Jordyn Earl

Charlotte, NC

Lake Norman Charter High School

Track & Field, Competitive Dance

Kayla Warner

Houston, TX

Klein Forest High School

Track & Field, Volleyball, Basketball, Cheerleading

Matine Khalighi

Denver, CO

Smoky Hill High School

Cross Country

Mayán Alvarado-Goldberg

Los Angeles, CA

John Marshall High School


Peyton Barsel

Las Vegas, NV

The Meadows School


Raymond Pasay

Turner, OR

Cascade High School

Football, Basketball, Track & Field

Rishab Jagetia

Houston, TX

Memorial Senior High School


Sunyyah Fenelon-Foristall

Brooklyn, NY

The Beacon School

Track & Field, Cross Country

Telissa Reynolds

Smyrna, GA

The Westminster Schools

Track & Field

William Harris

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Country Day School

Cross Country, Track & Field, Indoor Track

About Foot Locker Foundation:
Founded in 2001, Foot Locker Foundation is the charitable arm of Foot Locker, Inc., which leads the celebration of sneaker and youth culture around the globe through a portfolio of brands including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay, Footaction, Runners Point, and Sidestep. The company operates 3,113 stores in 27 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and New Zealand. Since its inception, the Foundation has developed significant partnerships, programs, and initiatives to improve and enrich communities across the country. Our mission is to promote a better world for today's youth by creating, developing, and supporting innovative educational programs and encouraging health and well-being through physical activity.

About Fastweb:
Fastweb, a top site in the Monster network, is the nation's recognized leader in helping students pay for school, by providing scholarship and financial aid information, as well as information on jobs and internships. As the oldest and most popular free online scholarship matching service, one out of three college-bound seniors use the site and more than 50 million users have benefitted from Fastweb's information and services. Fastweb lets students create personalized profiles that can be matched against its expansive databases of colleges and scholarships. To learn more about Fastweb, visit and follow Fastweb on social media for the latest on paying for school all year long: Twitter (at @PayingForSchool); Facebook; Instagram and Pinterest.

About DoSomething Strategic:
DoSomething Strategic is a consulting group that helps clients drive social change through insights and creative solutions backed by data. Fueled by's proprietary data from millions of young people involved in hundreds of cause initiatives, DoSomething Strategic uncovers what motivates young people to connect with companies and causes they care about. For more information, visit

1 The Princeton Review, "2020 College Hopes & Worries" (March, 2020)


Media Contact:
Mary A. Signorino 
Foot Locker, Inc.

Jie Jin
DoSomething Strategic
212-254-2390 ext. 245

SOURCE Foot Locker Foundation, Inc.