Skyline senior Laura O’Brien named Scholar-Athlete Award winner by MHSAA

Skyline senior Laura O’Brien, who spent four years running cross country for the Eagles and is about to reach the starting blocks on her third year in track and field, was recently selected as one of 14 student-athletes from Class A member schools to receive scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program. The award was announced Monday by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 32nd year of sponsoring the award, will give $1,000 college scholarships to 32 individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament. The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; also, there are two at-large honorees who can come from any classification.

Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

O’Brien ran in two MHSAA Finals for cross country and also qualified for MHSAA Finals for track and earned all-region in that sport. She earned academic all-state honors in both and helped both teams to all-academic awards.

O’Brien, who served as cross country captain this past season, is currently participating in her second year of National Honor Society and Freeman Environmental Education Youth Council. She also participated in the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability climate change workshops and presented on PFAS in local waterways at 2019 Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition community forum.

On stage, O’Brien performed for four years in school choirs, and this year as part of virtual state honors choir. She also serves as website designer and administrator as co-founder of virtual tutoring program.

She is undecided where she will attend college, but intends to study environmental science.

O’Brien’s Essay Quote: “Sportsmanship is a core value of athletics. It is only through the application of sportsmanship to one’s athletic career that a sport can truly and deeply be appreciated. Most athletes want to win and be recognized for their hard work, but the greatest athletes are those who work towards their personal goals while being cognizant of the hard work of their competitors.”