Standing from left: Jack Viera (father); Jim Soltau; Nini Humphrey (mother); Grace House; Carla Humphrey (grandmother); Victoria Larsen and Sue Mart; kneeling: Taylor Viera and her friend, Emily Dotson. Soltau, House and Larsen are members of the Scholarship Committee. Sue Mart is Marty Mart's widow.
BILL FORD/SPECIAL TO THE CATHOLIC VOICE
St. Lawrence O'Toole student awarded
Marty Mart volleyball scholarship
Taylor Viera, a pupil at St. Lawrence O'Toole School, Oakland, and an Eighth Grade volleyball player at the school, has been awarded the 2016 Marty Mart CYO Girls' Volleyball Scholarship. Taylor was present with her parents to receive the award at the special Mass celebrated at the recent Jim Negri Girls' CYO Volleyball Tournament. Victoria Larsen, daughter of Marty Mart presented the award on behalf of the scholarship committee.
Taylor has played CYO volleyball at St. Lawrence O'Toole for five years as well as participating in CYO Cross Country, CYO girls' basketball and CYO Track and Field. She is a member of the student council.
Mentoring younger players is important to her, writing in her scholarship essay: "As an eighth grade player in CYO, I feel like I have a duty to mentor the younger grades and help them better themselves. … This means so much to me because when I first started in CYO as a first grader, the older girls mentored me. There was a group of them and they always encouraged me and cheered for me. I have never forgotten that. Now I am the one mentoring the younger girls."
Taylor's volleyball coach, Dina Kakilia, said, "I would recommend Taylor because of her positive attitude during practice and the games. She always encourages her teammates whether it is a positive or negative play … Taylor comes to assist me during [fourth grade] practice. She has so much patience with the fourth grade girls."
This is the third time in 13 years a pupil from St. Lawrence O'Toole School has received the scholarship. The others were Nevah Evans in 2011 and Alexis Tartt in 2009.
The award is given based on the candidates' expression of Christian values experienced in sports and the ability to work with teammates and with other teams in exhibiting those Christian values. Athletic talent is not considered. Candidates submit an application asking for their reflections on their "athletic abilities, sportsmanship and the effects of their CYO participation on their daily life and their faith." They are also asked to provide a reference from an adult who is significant in their lives.
The CYO Office awards the $500 Marty Mart Scholarship twice annually. This award was for Girls' CYO Volleyball and an additional award will be presented in the spring. The spring award is open to all eighth grade CYO players, boys and girls.
The scholarship is named in honor of the late Marty Mart, former assistant diocesan CYO director, who passed away in 2002. The scholarship is funded entirely through private donations.
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