Zotheka Scholarship Award | Inaugural Recipient

At halftime of a recent ASA Reds NPSL match we recognized the first ever ASA Zotheka Scholarship Award winner, Jarbin Rodriguez. The award was presented by the Vandehei Family, Zotheka Scholarship founders, along with ASA’s Executive Director, Tommy Park and MLS-N Director Will Hanna. Jarbin recently finished his youth career as part of the U19 MLSN team after 15 years playing in the youth system at ASA. He is currently a student at Northern Virginia Community College and is working to determine his academic and athletic path forward in partnership with ASA’s College Placement team.

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 15 years. 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.

The word Zotheka, in the local language of Chichewa in Malawi conveys in the strongest way, the word POSSIBILITY.

Learn more about the Zotheka Scholarship Award.

Keep Reading

More To Explore


From Sierra Leone to ASA, Sam’s Journey

For Bai Sam Kamara—born in Sierra Leone, then an immigrant in a new country, and then a college student finding his way—soccer has always been


Academy Futsal Goalkeepers

Guest post by Nick Conklu, Academy Futsal Goalkeeper Lead coach and ASA goalkeeper coach extraordinaire! Many say that goalkeepers are “a different breed” or that

ASA Staff

Fight for Children Fellowship

Last fall we were thrilled to be selected to receive a Fight For Children Fellowship Award. Fight for Children has a “mission of improving the