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Impact Stories

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Impact Story: Carl D. Smallwood Inclusion Scholarship

Thursday, May 2 | Upper Arlington High School

On May 2, 2024, the Upper Arlington Education Foundation (UA+Ed) presented the inaugural Carl D. Smallwood Inclusion Scholarship Fund to Sally P. and Josh A., seniors graduating from Upper Arlington High School (UAHS). On May 3, 2024, Sally, Josh, their coaches, parents, and members of their varsity soccer teams came together with soccer alumni in celebration of the new scholarship.

"I've worked hard to embrace my differences and to recognize that feeling proud of the things that make me stand out from the crowd has also made me a stronger person. But, the most surprising thing about being comfortable in my own skin is that is has allowed me to put so much effort into helping others feel that way about themselves as well." - Sally P.

"At the beginning of my senior season, I encouraged my coach to hold a meeting for the players where we set specific goals. While some of the goals were about winning and on-field success, I recommended including off-field goals as well so that a diverse group of 15-18-year-olds could become a close-knit group. One of the goals was having at least one team dinner a month." - Josh A.

Scholarship Overview

The Carl D. Smallwood Inclusion Scholarship aims to acknowledge and support talented soccer players who champion the values of inclusion, fostering enriching experiences for student-athletes. It underscores Upper Arlington's commitment to academic excellence while emphasizing the bonds formed through athletics. By investing in the future of its recipients, the scholarship seeks to empower individuals destined to make positive impacts within their communities.

Selection Process

Graduating senior members of the girls' and boys' soccer teams are eligible for consideration. A committee comprising UAHS soccer alumni, coaches, and school representatives oversees the selection process.

Origin of the Scholarship

The scholarship pays homage to Carl D. Smallwood, UAHS '74, and former team captain and all-state center midfielder. Carl's leadership and camaraderie during his tenure inspired his teammates from the classes of 1973-1976, many of whom remain close friends to this day. Their collective generosity enabled the establishment of the fully endowed scholarship fund in 2023, with ongoing contributions from friends, family, and the community.

Carl Smallwood’s Journey

Carl Smallwood's soccer journey began in Germany before relocating to Upper Arlington in 1971. Despite soccer being a club sport at the time, Carl's passion and talent led him to become a varsity player and tri-captain, earning recognition on the Coaches All-Ohio Soccer Team. His collegiate years at The Ohio State University saw him continue his soccer pursuits while achieving academic success at the Moritz College of Law.

Beyond the field, Carl's legal career was marked by numerous achievements, including historic milestones such as becoming the first black president of the Columbus Bar Association. His dedication to fostering diversity and leadership extended to founding initiatives like the Law and Leadership Institute, LLC, aimed at empowering high school students from underserved communities.

Today, Carl and his wife, Connie, continue to proudly call Upper Arlington home, where they raised their two children, both graduates of UAHS.

The Upper Arlington Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides access to meaningful opportunities for students that are beyond the budget of the Upper Arlington School District. Established in 1985, UA+Ed is permanently structured to fund programs and projects today and for generations to come. The Upper Arlington Alumni Association is an important part of the foundation and keeps graduates connected, engaged, and motivated to pay it forward. 


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