Zotheka Scholarship Award


Zotheka Scholarship Award

“Anything Is Possible”

The Zotheka Scholarship Award, developed in 2023, is awarded to an ASA Academy Player who has demonstrated the resilience, determination and commitment necessary to succeed in college, but does not have access to financial resources to accept opportunities to compete at the collegiate level.

The Scholarship will be awarded each Spring to a high-school senior at the Academy level who has been accepted as a student at a 2 or 4 year college as a player or student.The award amount will be variable to the financial needs and family circumstances of the award winner, up to full tuition coverage. The award winner must maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA to keep the award active until graduation. Award winners still playing with ASA after high school (ie. for The Reds PRO or for the U23 PRO team) must consistently represent the award with a positive attitude, consistent accountability to coaches and mentors and demonstrated leadership at practice, on the field, and in the community.

The award is founded by the VandeHei family, who have been integral members of the Alexandria community for over a decade. They are inspired by multiple generations of soccer-playing family members who achieved access to college via soccer and developed the character to succeed as students and in the workforce thanks in part to years spent playing at the Academy level on scholarship. Soccer specifically, and sports generally, can open the door to opportunities for young people to rise above tragedy, challenging circumstances, and poverty. Soccer, or Futbol, as it is called in the rest of the world, can be an international equalizer and has lifted countless people and communities on many continents out of poverty and despair. The community that supports its players, reinforces the truth of the meaning of the word Zotheka, a charge adopted by the VandeHei family after visiting villages in Malawi, Africa on a service trip and observing the power of community and resilience in extreme circumstances. The word Zotheka, in the local language of Chichewa in Malawi, conveys in the strongest way, the word POSSIBILITY.

Anything Is Possible with resilience, determination, commitment and community support.

Award Recipients

*The founders of the award hope this Fund will be a giving option via the 501c3 status of Alexandria Soccer for others in the community who want to support young men in the Alexandria Community rise above challenging circumstances and graduate from college.

The ASA Zotheka Scholarship Award will be determined in a two-step process. There will be a nominating committee consisting of coaches and staff in leadership positions in ASA who will have ample opportunity to observe potential candidates, preferably throughout highschool. They will select 5 nominees for the award. The Award Committee, consisting of leaders in the non-profit, education and soccer communities in Alexandria will look at the applications and essays from the nominees, the individualized recommendations from the nominating committee, and will consider the criteria set forth below. The selection committee will vote on the nominees, choosing a winner out of the 5 nominees, who will then be awarded the Scholarship.

The nominating committee will consider the following when making their selections:
Resilience, resolve, character and determination on and off the field
Demonstrate ASA values & behaviors on and off the field:

  • We Persevere
  • We are Accountable
  • We Evolve
  • We engage (w/) the Alexandria community
  • High-school Senior playing Academy Soccer at Alexandria Soccer on College player track/skill level
  • GPA and teacher recommendations confirm college readiness and or/eagerness and ability to become college ready
  • History of community and/or family engagement and leadership
  • Team player with demonstrated leadership on the field and at practice


*The five Nominees will be asked to prepare an essay for the Selection Committee. Essays will include, but are not limited to, biographical information, an explanation of demonstrated financial need impeding college entrance, ambitions for the future.
Academic performance will be considered by the selection committee on a case by case basis each year for continuation of the scholarship funding.

Are you interested in financially supporting the Zotheka Scholarship Award or learning about other ways to support ASA participants? Reach out to Executive Director Tommy Park at [email protected].