Hard work pays off: Harrison is female recipient of Tip Colley Scholarship

Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

When Goshen High School senior Lydia Harrison looked around the Recreation Center at the J.O. “Tip” Colley Scholarship Banquet on Monday evening, she never believed she would win the coveted scholarship. By the end of the night, Harrison became the latest Goshen athlete to win the award.

“All the candidates were amazing, so I really wasn’t expecting to get it,” Harrison said. “I was really in shock. Everyone there had an amazing resume, so it was such an honor to be chosen.”

Harrison was one of two winners of the scholarship. Pike Liberal Arts’ Max Copeland was the male recipient of the award.

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The scholarship is given to student athletes who have excelled in their walks of faith, academics, athletics and community service.

Harrison competed in both softball and volleyball for the Eagles in her time at Goshen. Harrison’s academic contributions include junior and senior class president, National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, HOBY Award, Chamber Jr. Ambassador, she attended the Business and Finance Academy, she has an Associates in Arts Degree from Enterprise State Community College and she was on the Dean’s list.

Harrison was enrolled in five college classes at Troy University. While taking two more classes at Goshen, Harrison also participated in athletics, giving her a lot to focus on as a student athlete.

“It’s actually been kind of hard taking all my college classes and focusing on sports,” Harrison said. “This shows that all my hard work has paid off. The last four semesters we took five college classes a semester and two high school classes. For most days, I had practice or a game, so it wouldn’t be until later at night when I was able to do homework. There was a lot of time management and hard work.”

Being nominated was special enough for Harrison, but to win the scholarship was icing on the cake for the senior.

“Everybody there had the opportunity and they were great,” Harrison said. “The fact that I was even nominated is a huge honor.”

May has been an exciting month for Harrison. Not only has she won the $1,500 scholarship, she is of course graduating and there will be a special someone in attendance.

Earlier this month, Harrison was surprised to see her father, Steve Whitaker, who returned from his third deployment in Iraq earlier this month. Whitaker, who will be at Harrison’s graduation, was also in attendance on Monday night.

“This month has definitely been a whirlwind,” Harrison said. “There have been a lot of things that have made it such a great month. It was really special.”

Harrison will now get ready to head to North Alabama, where she will study business administration. She hopes to later move back to Pike County and find a job in marketing or management.

“This gives me an extra drive and push,” Harrison said. “This is such a huge award and honor. It shows that even the little work that I didn’t think anybody saw, pays off in the end.

Harrison is going to focus on academics at North Alabama, but for those who will be balancing their time in athletics and education, Harrison believes the best advice is to manage your time wisely.

“Definitely find a way to manage your time so you don’t get stressed,” Harrison said. “Never give up no matter how hard things get.”