Two high-achieving students from Valley View received scholarship recognition for excellence both on and off the field.
High school seniors Mary Zabielski and Gerald Wasilchak received the 2023 Heisman High School Scholarship Award for Valley View High School. This award celebrates the outstanding achievements of male and female student athletes who demonstrate excellence on the field, in school and in their communities. Over 4,878 student athletes all over the country have been awarded this scholarship by the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Powering through setback
Mary, 17, is primarily involved in track and field at Valley View High School, with her greatest strength being her strong arm in the javelin throw. She also plays basketball and is competent in long jump, high jump and triple jump.
Her athletic achievement didn’t come without struggle, however. While playing basketball, Mary tore her ACL, taking her out of the things she loved.
“It was a huge setback for me, but I powered through it,” she said. “It was a lot, but we’re getting back into it, and it feels a lot better.”
In addition to her athletic achievement, Mary has also been quite involved in local community service. She did much of this service through youth basketball, where she mentors younger students in the sport, but she also got involved with activities for children at St. Joseph’s Center and the Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Program.
Interested in the field of science and mathematics, Mary plans on pursuing chemistry in college. Her current schools of choice are College of the Holy Cross, Villanova University, and University of Pittsburgh.
She is thankful for her dad for supporting her throughout her academic and athletic journey. She is also thankful for her javelin coach.
“Without him, I wouldn’t even be throwing,” she said.
Being a good role model
Jerry, 18, played football all throughout high school. Though this is the sport he excels in, he has plans on trying out track and field or volleyball for the first time this spring.
At school, he is very involved with Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), the Spanish Club, and the National Honors Society.
Outside of school, he participates in a lot of community service. He helps out a lot at youth football camps, where he helps kids learn the game, but he also volunteers at a local soup kitchen and helps set up a local church picnic every year.
Jerry strives to be a good role model to everyone, including his younger brother.
“The biggest thing I try to do is show everyone what a good person is supposed to be,” he said.
Jerry wants to study education in college, as he dreams of being a teacher. His colleges of choice are East Stroudsburg University, Albright College and Shippensburg University.
Jerry is thankful for his parents for always supporting him and pushing him to do his best. He is also thankful for his school guidance counselor, Lori Kelly, and his football coach and teammates, for being there for him.