Paralympic student athlete from Glen Ellyn wins $20K scholarship

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's nice to know when your hard work is paying off, especially when it can help you pay for college.

Ahalya Lettenberger is the first of 20 students awarded with the Foot Locker Athletic Scholarship this academic year.

The scholarship program is specifically for student athletes with exceptional academic and athletic abilities... Lettenberger fits the bill to a tee.

She has a 5.0 GPA and scored a 35 on the ACT. She's involved in the National Honor Society, Student Council and is a member of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming National A Team. Her family, friends and school staff came together Monday afternoon to surprise her with the big news.

"It was exciting and kind of overwhelming. It's super exciting... I'm so happy," Lettenberger said.

"Ahalya has worked so hard, both in school and athletics and for her to make this achievement is just wonderful," dad Tom Lettenberger said. "It's great for her to get recognized for these wonderful achievements."

Ahalya Lettenberger's not sure where she's going to school just yet, but her top four choices are MIT, Harvard, Virginia and Rice.

"I want to study biomedical engineering and design prosthetic and medical devices to help other people with disabilities," Ahalya Lettenberger said. "This will go a long way in not only helping me achieve those goals but help me with my athletic goal too, because I want to swim in college."

No matter where she decides to go, she said this scholarship is key to helping her get there.

"Being able to achieve both these goals in one at a university, this will just help me so much," Ahalya Lettenberger said.
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