As a freshman, Tomball Memorial's Akuira Young dominated the area hurdle scene, advancing to state. As a sophomore she ranked in the top five statewide in the 300-meter hurdles and also placed eighth at the USA World Trials in the 400-meter hurdles.
The soon-to-be junior was recently awarded the National Athleadership grant sponsored by the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) and the NFL Players Association. The grant will allow the NCSA to work with Young and her family throughout high school in helping her decide which college is the best for her academic and athletic goals.
"We are very pleased to be involved with NCSA in assisting in the recognition and the selection of young qualified student athletes to receive scholarship opportunities," said DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA. "Anytime you can identify, help and reward future leaders to further their education and athletic pursuits, it's a win-win and we are pleased to contribute to this worthy effort with NCSA."
Young said it was an honor when she found out she had been selected.
"It felt really good just to know that I will get all this help in the recruitment process and that all my hard work has paid off," she said. "This will help me find coaches and make sure my recruitment is on the right track."
"Our team of 300 former athletes will personally guide and educate Akuira throughout the entire recruiting process, giving her the tools that she needs to be successful in recruiting and in life." said Chris Krause, CEO and founder of NCSA Athletic Recruiting. "Picking the right college is a life changing decision. It's important for student-athletes to recognize that the choice of a college or university is not just a 4-year decision; it is a 40-year decision that will impact their professional future and personal success in life."
Young said she is looking to go to a school that will help further her wish to become a neurologist one day. She hopes that her love for track will help her along the way.
"I like the competition and the fact that if you win you get a medal and get recognition," she said.
Her mother, Yolanda Young, said she has always stressed that academics are the most important thing.
"I want her to focus on academics first and she is doing it," said her mother. "Track is providing her an opportunity to go even farther."