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Scholarships sending AWC grads to four-year university
Applying yourself in the classroom truly does open the door to a multitude of possibilities.
Lemar Griffin, 21, and Dora Rabih, 20, learned this firsthand after the couple recently graduated from Arizona Western College with their associates degree in general studies and received substantial scholarships for academics to Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
“I feel amazingly humbled I get to go to school with my girlfriend who is going to be my future wife and we both get to do what we love. This is all surreal to me,” said Griffin.
Griffin moved to Yuma from Lakeland, Fla., on a football scholarship to AWC and later became the student government president.
“I would like to thank Arizona Western College for truly giving me the help I need to achieve this goal.”
As a Matador he was redshirted during his first year of football but was a starter on the special teams and a wide receiver his second year.
“It's hard to find guys like Lemar who excel in academics and at sports,” said Mark Speckman, the football coach at Willamette.
Speckman explained that because Willamette is a Division 3 school, they do not give out scholarships for athletics but that they are really excited to have Griffin on the team because of his great talents.
Rabih, who is from Denver, came to AWC on a basketball scholarship and played as a forward and a guard. She was one of four players named Distinguished Academic All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association, which requires a grade-point average of 3.8 or higher on a scale of 4.
“Basketball is what I do, but it is not who I am,” she said. “If I am going to make something of myself and be successful, I know that being a good student is key.”
Rabih's future basketball coach at Willamette, Anne Lapray, discovered her at a showcase in Phoenix and immediately noticed the way she carried herself around her teammates.
“I am thrilled for her to be a part of our program,” said Lapray while describing Rabih's incredible leadership qualities and knowledge of the game.
Griffin received the Transfer Honor Scholar Award, Willamette University Grant and the Jason Lee Award and plans to major in political science. Rabih was awarded the Merit Scholarship and Transfer Scholarship in addition to financial aid and plans to major in sociology.
Both Griffin and Rabih have their school tuition almost completely paid for with their scholarships. The duo will make the long trek to Willamette in August to begin their classes and practice with their respective teams.
Sarah Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858.