The LPGA Foundation announces 2012 Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships awarded to 12 high-school seniors


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, August 16, 2012 – The LPGA Foundation today announced the 12 high-school seniors who have been selected to receive the annual Dinah Shore, Phyllis G. Meekins and Marilynn Smith Scholarships. Criteria for each vary, but each high-school senior candidate must demonstrate outstanding academic excellence, leadership skills and active involvement and service to their community.  


Dinah Shore Scholarship

Alyssa Martinez, who graduated from Lakeland Senior High School in Lakeland, Fla., is this year’s Dinah Shore Scholarship recipient.  The $5,000 scholarship was established in 1994 to honor the late Dinah Shore, a Hollywood entertainer and honorary member of the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. The annual Dinah Shore Scholarship is awarded to a female high-school senior who will attend college, but not play collegiate golf.

Martinez, who graduated in the top-10 of her class with a 4.0 GPA, played golf all four years of high school as the No. 1 player and captain of the team. She was the Most Valuable Player her senior year and Player of the Year the three previous seasons. In addition to her golf pursuits, Martinez was a student council member for three years and served as president of the school’s community service club her senior year. She also volunteered in the youth ministries at the Church of the Resurrection and was an assistant instructor at the Lakeland Cotillion Assemblies.

Martinez plans to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., to study exercise science. Her goals are to obtain her doctorate degree and become a pediatric physical therapist.

To qualify for the Dinah Shore Scholarship, the applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2; must have played in a minimum of 50 percent of her high school golf team’s scheduled events or have regularly played golf for the past two years; must have demonstrated leadership skills and/or extraordinary community involvement; and must have applied to and been accepted to an accredited undergraduate academic program.


Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship

Established in 2006, the Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship awards $1,250 to a woman from a minority group who plans to study full-time and play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. This year’s Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship is endowed to Imani Scott, who far exceeds the requirements of this grant.

Scott is a 2012 graduate of Lovejoy High School in Hampton, Ga., where she played on the girl’s golf team for four years as captain and earned MVP honors. She was also Eagle Certified with The First Tee of Atlanta and was a mentor for young golfers. Outside of golf, Scott also played softball, was a member of the step and dance team, a competitive cheerleader and a brown belt in Tang-So-Do and Tae-Kwon-Do.

Scott will be attending Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., where she will become the first female golfer to play and compete on the men’s golf team. She plans to earn a degree in exercise sports science or biology.

The namesake of the scholarship, the late Phyllis G. Meekins, was a talented amateur golfer from 1950 to 1981 when she became a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. On that foundation, Meekins started PGM Golf Clinics, Inc. in 1973 for youth ages seven to 18 years old, helping to teach thousands of children life lessons through the game of golf. Meekins was inducted into the National African American Golfers Hall of Fame in 1984 and was nominated for the 1993 LPGA Teacher of the Year award. She was recognized by the National Golf Foundation (NGF) with the NGF Outstanding Service Award.

Marilynn Smith Scholarship

The Marilynn Smith Scholarship – named in honor of one of the LPGA’s 13 founding members – is awarded to 10 high school seniors who plan to play collegiate golf while pursuing a college degree. The 2012 recipients of the $5,000 scholarships are Allie Agrella, Caroline Inglis, Madison Denton, Abby Schumacher, Courtney Hooton, Carrilee Hiers, Ashley Noda, Peyton Gunnison, Alexandria Burgarello and Amanda Smith.

Allie Agrella graduated from Westwood High School in Austin, Texas, where she was a member of the girl’s golf team for four years and served as co-captain her final two seasons. She was also a member of the high school’s dance team and the Westwood Fine Art Academy. Outside of school, Agrella is a volunteer for the National Charity League and a studio dance instructor. She has more than 500 service hours volunteering for local philanthropies and was a camp leader at the Austin Museum of Art and Austin Lyric Opera.

Agrella plans to attend Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Ga., where she will pursue a degree in art with a minor in photography.

Caroline Inglis graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Eugene, Ore. in 2012. She was a three-time district champion and high school 5A State Champion. She won the North-West Pacific Junior tournament in 2011 and qualified for the 2011 Junior PGA and U.S. Junior Girls match play competition. In addition to her accomplishments on the golf course, Inglis was a member of the youth program at Central Presbyterian Church where she was also involved on the youth planning board.

Inglis plans to attend the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., and pursue a degree in business with a minor in Spanish.

Madison Denton graduated as valedictorian from Siegel High School with a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University in her home town of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Denton was a four-year letter winner in both varsity golf and basketball. She was also a member of the women’s select choir for three years and was a competitive fiddle player with victories in five different states. She can also play seven other instruments and frequently plays for assisted living residents, local charity events and community gatherings.

Abby Schumacher attended Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo., where she was a member of the girl’s golf team for three years, competing in the State Championships her final two seasons and earning all-sectional and all-district honors. She was also involved with Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America while also on the basketball team. Schumacher worked with the Champion Athletes of the Ozarks, an organization dedicated to teaching sports to special needs children.

Schumacher plans to attend Drury University in Springfield, Mo., where she will be a part of the women’s golf team. Her major is undecided.

Courtney Hooton graduated from The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif., and plans to attend Harvard University where she will study Government and play on the women’s golf team. She played all four years of her high school career, earning first-team All-City, MVP and captain honors each year. She was the youngest to represent San Diego in the Callaway Jr. Worlds in 2000 and qualified for the event in each of the following 12 years. She holds the San Diego Jr. Golf Association record as Player of the Year for a total of nine years.

Hooton also co-created a national website for the USIP Open Simulation Platform and founded a national magazine with her sister in 2005 that was directed to female junior golfers. She also volunteers at her school’s childcare.

Carrilee Hiers graduated from Brooks County High School in Quitman, Ga., in 2012 with a 4.0 GPA. As a member of the girl’s golf team she won three consecutive Regional titles and placed in the top-10 in three State Championships. She was also named All-State and first-team All-Regional. Hiers was also a class representative for the student council, a yearbook editor and a member of the Health Occupation Students of America and journalist for The Game Magazine. Through Perimeter Road Baptist Church, Hiers was a part of two mission trips teams and a volunteer at Vacation Bible School.

Hiers will attend Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., where she will study exercise and health science with a minor in journalism. She then plans to go to medical school to obtain a degree in Occupational Therapy with an emphasis in special needs pediatrics.


Ashley Noda, graduating with a 3.95 GPA, was a three-year member of the St. Francis High School varsity girls’ golf team in Sacramento, Calif., after transferring from Loretta High School where she was also on the golf team. She was a four-year letter winner and was named to the All-City High School Sports Team and earned all-league honors each year. She has multiple tournament wins and top-10 finishes throughout her high school career. A member of the The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Noda held a leadership role as the Life Skills Facilitator from 2011-2012 and spent time as a life skills instructor for the program.

Noda will attend Santa Clara University where she plans to major in marketing and prepare for a professional golf career.


Peyton Gunnison graduated with a 3.83 GPA from Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wis., and plans to attend Northern Illinois University where she’ll study Biomedical Engineering en route to earning a medical degree. A member of girls’ golf team for four years, Gunnison led the team to three sectional championships and four conference and regional titles. She was named first-team All-Area and All-State honoree her senior year and first-time All-Conference her final two seasons.

In addition to Gunnison’s success on the golf team, she held many leadership positions while on the student senate and was selected to attend the Wisconsin State Leadership Summit. She also participated in the foreign student exchange program twice, hosting students from Thailand and Spain.


Alexandria Burgarello graduated from Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix, Ariz., where she was a three-year varsity golf participant. In her final two seasons she was named the team’s MVP and held the No. 1 position. Outside of golf, Burgarello served as president of both Fellowship of Christian Athletes and student government her senior year and held other leadership roles the previous three years. For four years, she was a member of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission and the Streetlight Student Board. She also led Christ’s Church of the Valley kindergarten class for six years.

Burgarello plans to attend Wheaton College in Illinois to pursue a degree in elementary education.


Amanda Smith, graduating with a 3.98 GPA from Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Ky., plans to attend Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., where she’ll double major in elementary education and Spanish.

Smith was able to earn a spot on the varsity girls’ golf team as a 7th grader. After a few years of experience she became a vital member of the team as she became only the second girl from Whitefield Academy to qualify for the Kentucky State Championship tournament. She was named the team’s MVP for four straight years. In addition to her success on the course, Smith held leadership positions on the school’s student council and Beta Club.  

Topics: LPGA Foundation, Press Release

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