Scholarships for all sports discipline water skiers are available through the USA Water Ski Foundation. The Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee was appointed in 1982. The first scholarship program began in 1983 and offered scholarships to qualified members of the USA Water Ski (all sports disciplines).
The applicant must be an incoming freshman, sophomore, junior or senior as well as a U.S. Citizen, studying full-time at a two or four-year school. General guidelines for consideration include the number of years the applicant has been a member of USA Water Ski, academic achievement level, two letters of reference, need, work record, school and community activities and a 500-word essay. Also considered are the individual's contributions to the sport as a skier, rider, barefooter etc., as a worker at water ski tournaments, (judge, driver, committee work, etc.) Students need not be collegiate water ski competitors.
The scholarship application generally opens in early August with a deadline in mid March.
2014 Recipient: Erika Lang
World Record holder Erika Lang, who will enter Rollins College as a sophomore this year, is the 2014 recipient of the Barbara Bolding/Jim Grew Scholarship in the amount of $5,000. Lang is a portrait of excellence both on and off the water. While winning multiple world records in tricks and many pro tour titles, Lang also maintained honor student status in school. Lang may have just graduated from Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Arizona, but because she elected to take dual enrollment classes at the Maricopa Community College Campus, she will enter university this fall with 29 college credits and a sophomore status. She maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA in her college courses. Lang will study engineering. In addition to her water ski and academic success, Lang was also captain of her varsity cheerleading squad and participated in dance, diving, pole vaulting and tumbling. Lang also volunteered her time coaching the ASU water ski team and worked with programs under the Women’s Sports Foundation.
2014 Recipient: Paul O'Hara
Paul O’Hara, a junior at the University of Alabama will receive the inaugural George Blair Ambassador Scholarship in the amount of $2,200. O’Hara, who is majoring in Management Information Systems, is Vice President of the University of Alabama Water Ski Team and Regional Director of NSWSA South Atlantic Conference. As an Ambassador of the sport, O’Hara has coached eight Junior Development clinics over the past four summers for the Eastern Region. He also led his team to a 3rd place finish at the 2013 NCWSA Nationals and is currently organizing the 2014 Collegiate All Star Tournament.
2014 Recipient: Stephaine Carran
Stephanie Carran, a junior at Marquette University majoring in Education, will receive the 2014 MasterCraft Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Carran, a member of the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team has received multiple honors both on and off the water. From making the University Dean’s List and multiple academic honors to winning Water Ski Team Best Duo Award for the past five years, Carran has demonstrated incredible leadership. Carran is also Junior Team Coach and Coordinator for the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Junior Team and has volunteered her time with Learn to Ski Day Clinics and many other club and University events.
2014 Recipient: Gina Phillipi
Gina Phillipi, a sophomore at UCLA majoring in Political Science, is the recipient of the 2014 Western Region/Big Al Wagner Scholarship. Phillipi is President of the UCLA Water Ski Team. She is a Fitness and Nutrition Coordinator for UCLA Students for Community Outreach, Promotion and Education (SCOPE). Phillipi coordinates the Water Ski Team’s budget, tournaments, and social activities for Western Region. Phillipi is also a rated assistant judge and has volunteered her time at all of the team’s collegiate tournaments. She is currently Regional Secretary for the Western Collegiate Region.
2014 Recipient: K.C. Wilson
K.C. Wilson, a sophomore at Florida Southern College is the 2014 recipient of the Jean Downes Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Wilson, who is majoring in Business Administration, is captain of the Water Ski Team at Florida Southern College. Wilson was the 2013 Men’s National Collegiate Slalom Champion earning him USA Water Ski’s athlete of the month title. Wilson is a member of the Dean’s List and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. He is a senior rated slalom judge and often volunteers his time to judge tournaments. He is also co-President of the fellowship of Christian Athletes.
2014 Recipient: Ellie Horton
Ellie Horton, a freshman at Florida Southern College majoring in Journalism, is the recipient of the 2014 Southern Region/Elmer Stailing Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Horton, a third generation water skier, won the national title in the tricks competition at the 2013 National Collegiate Water Ski Association Championship and the overall women’s title at the Eastern Regional Championship. Horton made the President’s Honor list for maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall semester of 2013. Horton has volunteered her time coaching numerous junior development water ski camps. She plans to be a journalist in the sports field.
2014 Recipient: Jessica Trygier
Jessica Trygier, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati is the recipient of the 2014 Nautique Boats Scholarship. Trygier has been the Capitan of the University of Cincinnati Water Ski Team for the past two years. She was a NCWSA Academic All Star and UC Water Ski Team’s Top Women’s slalom performer in 2013. A Cincinnatus Scholar and Dean’s List member, Trygier has volunteered her time planning the 2013 Winter Conference fundraiser, Cincinnati Red’s Games and the Southern Ohio Challenge Tournament. Jessica is majoring in Neuro Psychology and plans to be a Pediatrician
2014 Recipient: Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin, a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University majoring in Accounting & Finance is the recipient of the 2014 Jennifer Odom, David Kammerer Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Martin, a State and Regional Barefoot Water Ski Champion competed in the 2012 Jr. World Barefoot Water Ski Championships. He volunteers his time at barefoot water ski tournaments as a videographer at the state, regional, national and world level competitions. He is also a certified scorer and pick up boat driver and has taken part in the capacity at tournaments at the state, regional and national levels.
2014 Recipient: Jacquelyn Schuh
Jacquelyn Schuh, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of the 2014 Tim Olson Memorial Scholarship. Schuh is the Treasurer of the University of Wisconsin Water Ski and Wakeboard Team. She has a double major in Marketing and Spanish with a specialization in global business skills. She is also a member of the Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team where in addition to performing, she is also the chairperson of the team’s marketing and advertising team. Schuh volunteers her time helping younger show team members develop their skills and has played an active role in many fundraisers and Learn to Ski events.