Inspired by Joe Loprinzi and the way he inspired others, a scholarship was created at the Multnomah Athletic Foundation in Joe’s name in 2001. Annually, three individuals are selected from the eligible 30 area high schools to receive $8,000 scholarships. In 2020, an additional $1,000 school finalist award was started to provide more funding assistance for remarkable student athletes on their path to higher education. Meet the engaging and inspiring 2022 recipients as MAF spoke to them in their first month of college.
An incredibly talented runner, Abdirizack Hussein was inspired to pursue the sport by the success of his older brothers. While the three are close in age and relationship, the competition is fierce. During his time at Roosevelt High School, he pushed himself with 5:30 a.m. runs and trained after school every day in the hopes that he would excel and eventually surpass the legacy that his brothers left. Despite the healthy competitive spirit, Abdi still credits the support of his brothers as a major contributor to his success and the reason he is at the University of Oregon this fall — not to mention the scholarships he has received to make it all happen.
For Hussein, being able to go to school and not worry about finances is a blessing. He can devote himself to being a full-time student instead of trying to hold a job, participate in athletics, and excel in his schoolwork. Back in 2009, his family came to the U.S. as refugees from a war-torn country. Moving to a new country this way has come with a unique set of challenges that most students his age have not had to face. Experiencing social injustice and working through inequalities has made Hussein even more determined to make the most of every opportunity he can find or earn.
He is now at U of O, fully immersing himself in the new college experience and everything it has to offer. He is looking forward to discovering a career path he feels passionate about as well as making connections and new friends and continuing to excel in athletics.
Auveen Hajar started to experience the positive effects of the Loprinzi Scholarship earlier than anticipated. At the Scholarship Celebration held this summer in the MAC turn around, Hajar met peers and foundation volunteers that he has continued to stay in touch with and will utilize as resources down the road. Not only did he make new connections, but his younger brother and parents were able to make new relationships with relative strangers.
Hajar’s ability to make connections quickly doesn’t come as a surprise, since he attributes a lot of his success to building relationships with adults in his life. “It’s OK to ask for help because you can’t do anything alone. Asking for help is not a negative reflection on yourself,” he said.
Hajar’s healthy perspective on asking for help likely stems from his willingness to help others. His genuine excitement for the students he tutors when they succeed, his determination to continue a Winter Holiday Drive during the pandemic that resulted in $20,000 raised for vulnerable community members, and his role as not just sophomore, but junior and all student body president at Sunset High School are a testament to his desire for a supportive and helping community.
While Hajar has loved playing soccer for over 14 years, he has decided to focus solely on his academics and club activities during his time at the University of Oregon. He fully intends to participate on intermural teams, but his eyes are firmly set on medical school and becoming a doctor.
Joe Loprinzi lived by the four Ds: determination, dedication, discipline, and desire. There is no doubt that Joshua Li enthusiastically embodies that same spirit. As he put it, he is “responsible for the execution of my long-term goals.” While that may sound like something that every individual is responsible for, Li makes an exceptional effort at planning out his moves and executing the hard work to make it happen.
As a freshman at Lakeridge high school, Li decided to join the rowing team. With no experience in the sport, it took him 2 million meters to get into the varsity boat. Through continued determination, he tried out for and made the national team that represented the U.S. in a world championship race in Spain and Portugal the fall of his senior year. He accomplished all of this while pursuing his academic goals, participating in the All-State Orchestra and maintaining active membership in the Scouts where he is now a senior patrol leader. Being raised by a single father with a demanding job that often took him away from Portland, Li took the initiative of pursuing his goals and staying on task. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And Li has all the will needed to succeed at whatever he puts his mind to.
He is now at Yale University, excitedly throwing himself into all the new activities and schoolwork that surrounds him. He is a member of the rowing team and is quickly adapting to the rigors of a collegiate athletic team. Without the support of scholarships like the Loprinzi, Li would not be able to devote all his time and energy into continuing his athletic passions, excelling in schoolwork, and exploring the vast amount of opportunity that is his for the taking.
Each of these individuals exemplifies the spirit of Joe Loprinzi with their desire, determination, dedication, and discipline. At the 30 program high schools, there are many remarkable, talented, and committed student athletes. The Multnomah Athletic Foundation recognizes each school finalist with a $1,000 scholarship, providing them access to opportunities. By joining the MAF 30 Futures Club, MAC members can demonstrate their belief in the futures of amazing individuals. To fund scholarships through the Multnomah Athletic Foundation, contact us through the contact page listed above.
Written by Jacqui Monahan, Originally published in the October 2022 issue of The Winged M Magazine.