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Student-Athletes Showcase Commitment to Athletics & Academics

By Nicole Gomez
October 18, 2013

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The Tier One Scholarship is an academic scholarship offered at the University of Houston to incoming freshman. It supports up to five years of undergraduate study given the student can maintain a high grade point average.

To be a Tier One Scholar and a Division I athlete is no easy task, but it is one that athletes like Megan Goh deem “worth it in the end.” Goh, a freshman midfielder majoring in Biomedical Engineering, recognizes the difficulty of starting off her college experience juggling both focuses. “It’s really overwhelming your first year,” she admits. “It’s definitely a blur, and it’s really hard, but it’s also a lot of fun.”

Although Goh says her goal has always been to play soccer at the university level, Goh says the real struggle is staying on top of class work. “Missing class is the worst part because a lot of my professors base tests off their lectures,” she concedes, “but it’s definitely really cool to get to travel and see other schools and play. It’s pretty satisfying being able to come into a program that’s still developing and make a difference.”

Sophomore Trevor Walker can attest to the pressure that comes with maintaining a Tier One Scholarship. As both a Cross Country and Track and Field athlete, for Walker time management is a term heard year round. “You have to restructure your whole life,” he explains. ““It takes a lot of effort and a whole lot of resolve. There’s no quitting. If you get a bad grade on a test, you can’t beat yourself up over it too much or go off the deep end studying for the class because you still have practice the next morning.”

Travis walker

Because money is spread thin with each athlete, Walker says the Tier One Scholarship provided relief for him. “I was already decided on running. I was going to run wherever I went,” he affirms. “When I got an academic scholarship, it was just a giant burden off my shoulders… and then the work started,” he laughs.

Andrew Thompson acknowledges the work cut out for him. As a freshman on the Men’s Track and Field team, Thompson hopes to train harder without diminishing his academics. “Even though there is a lot of effort that we have to put into it, it’s worth it because it puts us into unique categories,” Thompson contends. “It’s so much fun being out there with people who just continue to push themselves to be the best they can be.”

Andrew-Thompson

When asked about his future goals, Thompson grins. ““I would love to become an Olympian. That would be a difficult endeavor for me, but because I’m at one of the best schools in this nation, I know that I have the people available to help me get to that level if I just put in the time and effort. That’s what’s so wonderful about the University of Houston. They’ve set up both of these programs that allow you to become an Olympian not just in your sport, but also in terms of academics.”

All college athletes have a hard time balancing their rigorous athletic training and their academic goals, but to be able to compete at the NCAA Division I level and maintain a Tier One Scholarship is a task that not only tests skill but commitment. Dedication to both programs ensures each student-athlete will not only prevail in their fields, but will have the perseverance to excel anywhere in life.

Original story published in Program for UH Homecoming 2013 Football Game (10/18/13)

by Nicole Gomez, 2012 TierOne Scholar