Game Changers Summit

WARREN — Two recent high school graduates will be attending the ESPYS this week in Los Angeles after receiving $1,000 scholarships from Game Changers.

Gabby Hartzell, a Howland High School graduate who will attend Baldwin Wallace College for accounting and to play softball, and Greg Valent, a John F. Kennedy High School graduate who will attend Franklin and Marshall College to study business and play football, were presented the scholarships for completing 50 hours of community service and their academic achievements. Hartzell, daughter of Scott and Wendy Hartzell, has 4.1 GPA and Valent, son of Greg and Tricia Valent, has a 3.5 GPA.

Michael Engram, founder and executive director of Game Changers, said this year, Game Changers awarded $4,500 in college scholarships and an additional $5,000 in awards. The Game Changer’s Scholarship and ESPY Initiative award winners are Hartzell, Valent and Maggie Day of Silver Creek High School in Indiana, who has a 4.0 GPA. This is the third year for the scholarships.

In 2013, Engram flew to Los Angeles and spoke with the executive producer of ESPN’s coveted ESPY Award. He said since that time, a relationship has been fostered that has helped to give Game Changers award recipients a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The ESPYS is an award show that recognizes professional athletes for their excellence in sports in season and during the off season.

Engram said, “This particular program of the organization is a nationwide initiative that recognizes the positive impact student-athletes have in their community while also encouraging them to be well-rounded citizens.”

Participants are measured on their ability to attain a minimum 3.0 GPA and give back a minimum of 50 hours of community service as well as encourages athletes to get high marks on their ACT / SAT, open up a checking and / or savings account, not miss school and join organizations outside of their sport.

Engram said, “It’s important for student athletes to recognize that their athleticism is a gateway, not a destination, to a successful life. Game Changers takes pride in highlighting individuals who not only attend school, but make the most of their high school experience by evolving and maximizing their talents on and off the field, court, pool.”

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