Anna Connolly, a softball player from Richardson Pearce High School, has received the 31st annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award at a Tuesday luncheon at the Fort Worth Club.
Recipients of the $30,000 scholarship are chosen from schools throughout the Metroplex on the basis of scholastic achievements, community service, character, leadership and varsity sports participation.
“I just want to thank everybody at the foundation, and my parents, and for this amazing opportunity,” said Connolly, who is ranked fifth in her senior class of 500.
The Davey O’Brien Foundation awarded a $2,500 scholarship to the four other finalists: Vivian Weinman (Fort Worth Southwest Christian), Madeline Ngo (Highland Park), Jacob Palisch (Dallas Jesuit) and Christopher Wines (Addison Trinity Christian).
“That is a very tough thing to do, to choose a winner,” said David O’Brien Jr., the scholarship namesake’s son and selection committee chairman. “Our five finalists are literally the best of the best.”
Connolly plans to attend Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and pursue a degree in human health. The school’s website describes it as a combination of medicine, nursing, theology, law and public health.
“I’m very surprised and honored, and excited for this opportunity,” Connolly said. “I had no idea I would even become a finalist.”
She is the second-ever winner from Pearce High School, joining Lindsey Leininger (1994). Pearce is the ninth school with multiple winners.
Connolly will also be honored Feb. 20 at the 40th annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner. Other honorees are Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, the two-time winner of the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award; Jim McMahon, the Davey O’Brien Legends Award recipient; and Scott Murray, the Charles Ringler Founder’s Award honoree.