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Scherlacher Wins Big South State Farm Scholarship

June 2, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle Kallander presents the Big South State Farm Community Service Scholarship to Hannah Scherlacher.

Liberty rising sophomore women's track & field/cross country student-athlete Hannah Scherlacher has been named the winner of the Big South Conference's fourth annual State Farm Community Service Scholarship. Scherlacher was presented a $2,500 scholarship Thursday night at the Conference's Spring Meetings Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner, which was held at The Marriott Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Now in its fourth year, students from all member institutions within the Big South Conference submitted applications for this scholarship. The selection was based on participation in a leadership role in community service activities and volunteer work, academic grade point average and the content of an essay detailing the type of community service program/activity the candidate would create given an opportunity to do so. A committee of Big South Conference administrators and State Farm executives determined the recipient of this annual award.

In her essay, Scherlacher shared her desire to "make a change in the lives of other people."  She detailed her life-changing experiences volunteering in the Dominican Republic, where the people she met "had nothing other than the clothes on their backs and a wooden shack for a house, they were the happiest people I had ever met." Scherlacher's vision for her community service effort is to "help people realize the true meaning of giving by donating something they value."  Her mission is to collect these gifts and disperse them to people in need. 

"When the people send a gift, they will have the choice of writing a note with it," stated Scherlacher. "The impact of this activity will have a touching impression on the receiver, but an even greater impact on the giver. I plan on starting this out as a small activity, and eventually developing it into something that could be done worldwide. I know it will take a great amount of effort and hard work, but the gift of true joy is priceless."

A native of Jefferson, N.J., Scherlacher was redshirted during the 2013 cross country season but found success on the track as a freshman. Indoors, she ran the 1,200-meter leadoff leg for the Lady Flames' Big South champion distance medley relay quartet. Outdoors, the special education major finished 11th in the Big South 1,500-meter final and then dropped her 1,500 time to 4:44.60 at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier.