Penn Hills senior thrilled by surprise scholarship announcement

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Sunday, December 18, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Jamie Wade had a difficult task ahead of her. After finding out her daughter, Maura, had won a $5,000 scholarship as part of The Point’s Friday Night Rivalry series, Jamie wanted to find the right way to surprise her with the news.

What Jamie told Maura was that someone was coming to interview her for the newspaper about spring sports.

“Oh my gosh, it was difficult to come up with a scheme to have her stay late at school and look presentable,” Jamie said. “She has an early out from school, so we didn’t want her coming in with her hair up and sweats on.”

Maura Wade was surprised when she arrived at the ceremony for her Dec. 15 in the cafeteria.

“I had no idea,” Wade said. “I thought I was just there to have a conversation with my high school coach. It was surprising and exciting because they made the announcement in front of my whole grade.”

Maura had to submit a three-minute video of what a day in her life was like back in November.

She shot video at work, at school and while playing sports.

“It was different,” Maura said about shooting the video. “I had my teachers, coaches, coworkers and classmates help me and I thanked them afterwards.”

In addition to playing softball and basketball, Maura also played volleyball for a season.

Maura carries a 4.2 GPA.

Jamie said that over the course of Maura’s high school career, they had a spreadsheet put together to keep Maura’s schedule straight. That allowed her to balance all of the activities.

“Sometimes she would ask what would I have on Wednesday or Saturday?” Jamie said. “She was good with time management, but school always came first. If the grades ever slipped, something else would have to go.”

Jamie found out about a week and a half before the ceremony that Maura had won.

While she was eager to plan the surprise, she also told Maura to go ahead and commit to playing softball at La Roche University.

“I told her once I found out to text the coach and let them know if that’s where her heart was, we would make it work,” Jamie said. “The coach has been checking in to see if she made her decision. This helps lessen the burden for the cost.”

Maura, who initially was curious about whether she won after submitting the video, said she had pushed the thought out of her mind while she waited to hear back.

Maura was overjoyed when she got the news.

“It made my college decision easier,” Maura said. “My mom knew beforehand and told me to let the coach know.”

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