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placeholder June 26, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA

Marty Mart scholarship winner — from left: Joseph Petersen, Assumption School principal; Lauryn Davis; Sue Mart; Rev. Leonard Marrujo, parochial administrator; Lisa Brue, mother; Sidney Davis, father.

Scholarship winner: CYO helps one become a leader

Praising CYO as a "great place to make friends" and that "CYO also helped with becoming a leader," Lauryn Davis from Assumption School, San Leandro, has been awarded the Marty Mart CYO Scholarship by the scholarship committee.

The award was presented to her at the school graduation by Sue Mart, wife of the late Marty Mart and a teacher at the school.

Lauryn has been active in CYO since her first year playing CYO basketball in the first grade. She played CYO basketball continually for eight years, Girls' CYO Volleyball for five years and CYO Girls' Softball for two years. In addition to playing, she helped Assumption and the local CYO league by scorekeeping and helping to officiate younger grade games.

At Assumption School, Lauryn has been active as the student leadership team president, a role that she attributes to leadership skills that she learned in CYO. She wrote in her scholarship essay, "One of my coaches would always tell our team someone needed to step up and be a leader. No one wanted to do so. I finally decided to take a chance and speak up more. This helped me to become more confident in my leadership skills. I decided to apply for student leadership and was chosen as the leadership team president."

Lauryn also shared her perspective on values in sports: friends, winning, losing and fun. "CYO is a great place for me to make friends and learn important life skills. I've learned that winning isn't everything. Every volleyball and basketball team that I've played on hasn't won diocese, but that's OK because I had fun while playing. Winning is fun, but by losing you learn you mistakes and can build from that and try again next time. I have made many friends throughout the years playing CYO. I have become friends with teammates who don't go to my school and with competitors who I will be attending high school with."

In support of her candidacy for the scholarship, Maurice Pollard, Assumption CYO athletic director wrote: "I believe Lauryn is a shining example of a CYO student athlete. Lauryn is smart, kind, patient and hard working. She works well with others, takes direction well and is respectful to everyone she comes in contact with. Lauryn is a great student, a leader on her sport teams and a mentor at school. Lauryn exemplifies the spirit of CYO."

Lauryn will continue her education at Bishop O'Dowd High School, Oakland, and she was awarded the school's Presidential Scholarship. Lauryn's mother, Lisa Brue, also attended Bishop O'Dowd, where she played basketball, and was a former CYO basketball player and student at St. Paschal Baylon Catholic School, Oakland.

The Marty Mart Scholarship is not awarded on skill in playing sports, but is based on an Eighth Grade CYO player's participation in CYO, in understanding sportsmanship and by exhibiting the Christian values that are goals of CYO. To apply for the scholarship, a candidate submits a scholarship application that includes an essay in which the candidate is asked to "share their thoughts on their athletic abilities, sportsmanship and the effect of CYO participation on their school and daily life." A candidate must also submit a letter of recommendation from an adult significant to him or her.

For this year's award, 26 CYO players, both boys and girls from around the diocese, submitted applications. Applications were screened by the scholarship committee, the five top candidates were invited to interviews and the winner was selected.

The CYO Office awards the Marty Mart Scholarship twice annually. The award is open to Eighth Grade CYO players. An additional award is given to Eighth Grade girls' CYO volleyball players each January. The scholarship awards $500 for the awardees' continued education. Each year, Eighth Grade CYO participants in both Catholic and non-Catholic schools are encouraged to apply.

The scholarship is named in honor of the late Marty Mart, former Oakland diocese CYO Assistant Director, who passed away in 2002. The scholarship is funded entirely through private donations.

(Bill Ford is the director of the Catholic Youth Organization in the Diocese of Oakland.)

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