US Paralympic Swimming National Teamer Ahalya Lettenberger is one of 20 athletes to have been awarded a 2019 Foot Locker Athletic Scholarship. The honor, which is based on academic achievement and leadership, in addition to “commitment to sports” – including athletes who aren’t even on their high school varsity teams.
Each recipient receives four $5,000 payments throughout their academic career, with the exception of one that receives the Ken C. Hicks Scholarship, which goes to one superior performer that receives an extra $5,000.
Letternberger is the first-ever para-sport athlete to be awarded a Foot Locker Athletic Scholarship.
She has a weighted 5.0 GPA and scored a 35 on the ACT. She’s a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
In the pool, Lettenberger has represented the USA at several international events, including winning a gold medal in the 100 back in the S7 class at the 2015 Parapan American Games when she was only 15 years old. She’s currently a member of the US Paralympics swimming “A Team” for 2019.
She ranked 2nd in the world in 2018 in the S7 400 free behind fellow American McKenzie Coan and 3rd in the 100 back.
According to ABC7 Chicago, Lettenberger’s top college choices are MIT, Harvard, Virginia, and Rice.
In addition to her success in the pool, Lettenberger was also a member of the 2017 Glenbard West State Championship team where she won the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter wheelchair races. That includes a new State Record in the 400 free. She also won Illinois high school state titles in the 100 breaststroke as both a sophomore and junior, including setting a state record in her junior season. She didn’t compete this year as a senior.
To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum of an unweighted 3.0 GPA.