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Mar, 2022

NJ Youth Soccer Announces 2021 Jeanine Willis Scholarship Recipients

Khya Robinson, NJ Youth Soccer

New Jersey Youth Soccer continues its virtual celebration of the 34th Annual NJYS Awards Presented by RWJBarnabas Health today, officially announcing Kalli Roskos and William Smith as the recipients of the 2021 Jeanine Willis Scholarship. As part of their acknowledgement, Roskos and Smith participated in an exclusive interview with Gotham FC defender Estelle Johnson.

The Jeanine Willis Scholarship was established by NJ Youth Soccer to honor the numerous contributions that Jeanine Willis made to youth soccer in the State of New Jersey and beyond. She was the first NJYS Executive Director, served as a member of the NJYS Board of Directors and is a member of the NJYS Hall of Fame. Each year, NJ Youth Soccer awards this scholarship to deserving college-bound high school seniors who have participated in the NJYS State Cups Program.

From the moment Kalli Roskos put on her first jersey at the age of five, soccer became a huge part of her life. Her experiences with the game have made her diligent and self-motivated, not only as an athlete but also as a student. Her drive and determination have resulted in outstanding academic performance that has been matched with her play on the soccer pitch. Roskos has also remained dedicated to her community, where she has volunteered her time with the production team at her church in addition to coaching young athletes at a youth wrestling club. She now looks to continue her studies and soccer career in the fall at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the Jeanine Willis Scholarship,” said Roskos. “Jeanine Willis strived to make youth soccer a positive experience for players, and I am very thankful for everything I have learned during my youth years. I know that those experiences have helped shape me into the player and person I am today.”

Since he was three-years-old, William Smith has maintained a passion for soccer. He has been involved with the sport in many ways, including as a player, coach and referee. In addition to his commitment on the soccer field, Smith has also continuously held himself to a high standard academically. In the classroom, he has achieved the status of high honor roll, scholar student and scholar athlete. He has also served as the vice president of his senior class and as a member of the principal’s student advisory board for his high school. Additionally, he has developed leadership skills from being the captain of his high school soccer team, as well as the coach of a 13U youth soccer team. With the help of the Jeanine Willis Scholarship, Smith will be continuing his studies at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford this fall.

“I would like to express my gratitude for NJYS selecting me as the 2021 recipient of the Jeanine Willis Scholarship,” said Smith. “I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor, and I am deeply appreciative for everything NJYS has done for me.”

To find out more information about New Jersey Youth Soccer or to contact us directly, please email [email protected]. Also make sure to follow us on social media: @NJYouthSoccer

As part of their acknowledgement, Roskos and Smith participated in an exclusive interview with Gotham FC defender Estelle Johnson.

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Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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