Sports Backers Blog

Sports Backers’ and Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Active Living Leadership ALL Stars Program Celebrates First Class Graduation

The ten-month long program also welcomed in a new class of 21 students


RICHMOND, VA – Sports Backers and the Richmond Times-Dispatch recognized 19 area high school senior student athletes that completed the Active Living Leadership ALL Stars program last night at a graduation ceremony held at the Hippodrome Theater. The event served as a celebration for the students, their families, coaches, and supporters. The students went through a ten-month long hands-on program that offered volunteer opportunities with local organizations, panels with leaders throughout the sports industry, collaboration in cohorts, and culminated in a capstone project.

“The Awards Show was an amazing way to honor everything this first ALL Stars class has accomplished,” said Jacki Quinlan, Director of Youth Programs at Sports Backers. “They truly put in the work to become standout leaders within their own communities, and within the Richmond community. We can’t wait to see all they accomplish as they head to college and beyond.”

This was the program’s first year following a restructured format. Its previous iteration was the Scholar-Athlete Awards Program that began in 1992. Sports Backers and the RTD refreshed the program at the beginning of 2023 because they wanted to create something more impactful that formed lasting relationships with the student athletes. Sports Backers and the RTD have awarded over $1.4 million to area students over the last 32 years. This first ALL Stars class was selected from a pool of 140 nominees.

Each student that completed the program received a scholarship in the amount of $2,500. They then had the opportunity to apply for additional scholarships and two students were selected as MVPs. The ALL Star MVP Awards went to Ellie Wood of Douglas Freeman High School and Anthony Allen Jr. of Richmond Community High School and Armstrong High School. The award included an additional $4,000 scholarship for each recipient. The Thirst for Knowledge award went to Ethan Choe of Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School with an additional $2,500 scholarship. The Community Impact Awards in memory of Ray Patterson and Cheryl Oliver were given to Bre Robinson of Hermitage High School and Jalen Copeland of Hanover High School with both receiving $2,500 in additional scholarships. The Sport Standout title was awarded to Alex Percey of Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and Lilly Versen of Trinity Episcopal School and they both received an additional $2,500 in scholarships. Finally, the Team Player award in honor of Scott Schricker went to Lily Ricci of Deep Run High School and she took home an additional $2,500 scholarship. The full list of graduates can be found below.


Athlete First Name Athlete Last Name School Name
Anthony Allen, Jr. Richmond Community High School & Armstrong High School
Jadyn Sears Thomas Dale High School
Matthew McGovern Thomas Dale High School
Annie Adamson Saint Gertrude High School
Ethan Choe Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
Declan Keith Trinity Episcopal School
Lily Ricci Deep Run High School
Angelica Acosta Cristo Rey Richmond High School
Kylie Jenkins Mills E. Godwin High School
Julia Mann Mills E. Godwin High School
Alex Percey Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
Liam Gordon Appomattox Regional Governor’s School
Tucker Washburn Mills E. Godwin High School
Ellie Wood Douglas Freeman High School
Caroline Wulff St. Catherine’s School
Lauren Blake Maggie L Walker Governor’s School
Jalen Copeland Hanover High School
Bre Robinson Hermitage High School
Lilly Versen Trinity Episcopal School

The evening also marked the announcement of a new class of ALL Stars coming into the 2024-2025 school year. The new class will kick off in August. The committee selected 21 students from across the Richmond region to participate in the program. These students will tackle sessions covering Active Living 101, Active Living Inequities, Making a Difference Through Advocacy, and Life Beyond Sport. Mentors will host bi-monthly meetings to cover additional learning materials and to provide support to their group of ALL Stars.

Athlete First Name

Athlete Last Name School Name
Elliana Agustin Hanover High School
Adrian Chenoweth Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
Erin Cotman Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
Lila Donnelly Monacan High School
Patrick Harlow Goochland High School
Riley Humphries Prince George High School
Aliyana Johnson Hopewell High School
Sumner Kerr St. Catherine’s School
Gabriela Linkonis Collegiate School
Mercedes Luna Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
Mary Mansfield Matoaca High School
Sanaa Moore Henrico High School
Robbie Seifert Hanover High School
Molly Sleman Douglas Freeman High School
Ashaney Smith Richmond High School for the Arts
Kaleb Smith Mechanicsville High
Charlotte Smith St. Catherine’s School
Kenzie Strohhacker Mechanicsville High School
Lydia Stumpf Saint Gertrude High School
Tobias Suarez-Vasquez Douglas Freeman High School
Deon Wright Jr. Richmond Community High School & Thomas Jefferson High School

For more information about the program please visit

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