Scholarships awarded to seven outstanding high-school graduates
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 17, 2020 – The LPGA Foundation announced today the five high-school graduates selected to receive the 2020 Marilynn Smith Scholarship, as well as two graduates awarded the Dinah Shore and Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarships. These seven students went above and beyond with their outstanding academic excellence and leadership skills and were active in their communities, while also fulfilling specific requirements for each scholarship award.
The Marilynn Smith Scholarship, named in honor of one of the LPGA’s 13 Founders, is awarded to high school seniors who plan to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. Each of the 2020 recipients will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Since Marilynn Smith established her namesake scholarship program in 1999, the LPGA Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to scholarship recipients.
The Dinah Shore Scholarship was established in 1994, the year that Hollywood personality and ANA Inspiration founder Dinah Shore was inducted to the LPGA Hall of Fame as an honorary member. The scholarship is given to a female high school senior whose plan it is to attend college but not play golf at the collegiate level. The recipient of this award will also receive a $5,000 scholarship.
The Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship, established in 2006, celebrates the achievements of a female high school senior who identifies herself as someone from a minority background whose dream it is to pursue a full-time course of study while playing golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. The recipient of this award will receive a $1,250 scholarship.
Marilynn Smith Scholarship
Taylor Galigher graduated from Tuscarawas Valley High School in Zoarville, Ohio, where she played varsity golf and varsity basketball and ran varsity cross country. After picking up golf the summer before her sophomore year, she received the team’s Most Improved Award by her senior year.
Galigher plans to major in Speech Pathology at Clarion University and hopes to attend graduate school immediately after college in order to begin work at a children’s hospital, preferably in her home state.
Allison Comer graduated from St. James Academy in Lenexa, Kan., where she was named Community Captain her senior year for being the individual most qualified to lead her school’s yearly events. As a senior, she was the 5A Kansas High School Athletic Association’s individual state champion.
Comer will attend the University of Nebraska - Kearney in the fall and study Nursing.
Rachel Stoinski graduated from Lander Valley High School in Lander, Wyom., where she was Team Captain for both golf and basketball. In 2019, Stoinski won the 3A individual state championship and received the Lou Lepore Female Player of the Year award. Apart from sports, she tutored her peers and was a member of both the National Honor Society and Future Farmer of America group.
In the fall, Stoinski will play golf for the University of Wyoming while working toward a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice.
Emma Pittman graduated from Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, Ala., where she played golf and danced for the school’s varsity teams. During her senior year, she was ranked fourth in the state for golf and won the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour’s (SJGT) Female Sportsmanship Award in 2019. She was also a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.
Pittman will attend Lee University in the fall and plans to become an early elementary education teacher while coaching young girls how to play golf.
Allee Mainord graduated from Stephenville High School in Stephenville, Texas, after being a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and president of the National Honor Society. She was named her golf team’s Team Captain for two years and was her team’s lowest individual scorer.
In the fall, Mainord will attend Berry College where she will follow a pre-Med track and study Neuroscience. Her dream is to enroll in the University of North Carolina’s medical school in order to specialize in neurological research and patient care.
Dinah Shore Scholarship
Claire Koleszar graduated from Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, Calif., where she received two varsity letters in golf and volleyball. She was named Team Captain for both sports during her senior year. Throughout all four years on high school, she maintained a 4.0+ GPA and was on the Principal’s honoree list.
Koleszar will attend the University of Michigan in the fall and pursue a career in medicine. After experiencing the loss of a loved one due to a medical error, she hopes to use her personal experience as motivation to help others by preventing such errors from happening.
Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship
Madison Deese graduated from Purnell Swett High School in Pembroke, N.C. She was a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Organization. On the golf course, she qualified twice for the NCHSAA Women’s Golf State Championship and three times for the NCHSAA Women’s Golf Regionals.
In the fall, Deese will attend the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and study Chemistry before seeking her doctoral degree in Pharmacy.