I just spent this past weekend in Washington D.C., with the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), an organization that recognizes and supports high school students who commit themselves to academic excellence. The organization honored me with their Robert P. Sheppard Leadership Award, which included a college scholarship and the opportunity to speak to more than 1,000 students about The Sparkle Effect and the upcoming Do Something Awards!
After the awards ceremony, I caught up with a friend of mine, Tyler Spencer. Tyler leads a non-profit called Grassroot Project, which enables student-athletes in the D.C. area to educate kids about HIV awareness and prevention. As I chatted with Tyler about his project, reflected on my experience with NSHSS, and thought about the upcoming Do Something Awards, it reinforced for me the importance of standing out on the sidelines and in the classroom. Although I’ve always worked for excellence in cheer, no matter what, I put my education first.
Balancing athletics and academics can be challenging, but it opens up so many cool opportunities. For example, Varsity’s new Intelligence Team – which targets bright, studious cheerleaders who want to make a difference in the cheer community by testing products, generating Varsity TV content, and even designing Varsity merchandise – is currently seeking applicants who, among other things, have achieved a minimum 3.5 G.P.A. (Apply today!) Likewise, when selecting the annual winner of the highly-coveted American School Spirit Award, UCA considers not only a squad’s community service and spirit-raising activities, but also the squad’s academic achievements. The bottom line: be sure to hit the books in addition to hitting the mats!
I’m currently gearing up for my trip to Los Angeles for the Do Something Awards. Vh1 just announced that Demi Lovato, OneRepublic, B.o.B. and Foster the People will all perform during the show! You can get the latest updates and continue voting for your favorite social activists and celebs at http://www.dosomething.vh1.com/. I can’t wait to give you all of the inside scoop on the awards show, which will air on Vh1 August 18!