Home > Isiah Willis - 2010 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Recipient

 Isiah Willis -
 2010 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient

San Diego, CA (November 1, 2010) - Isiah Willis has had to face many challenges while growing up in the inner city of Washington, DC. Raised by an aunt, along with two of his brothers, Isiah has continued to meet every challenge head on and despite his hardships, he has always been an example to those around him, both on and off the field. And his positive attitude has been unwavering.

A gifted athlete, Isiah starred in football and basketball as well as rugby. But it’s rugby where his passion lies and it’s been that way for the past four years. He began his rugby career as an inside center and fullback with the St. John’s College High School rugby team in 2007. He played the next three seasons with Calvin Coolidge High School.

Isiah played flyhalf and fullback for the Coolidge Colts while attending Cardozo High School. Despite coming from another school, his leadership qualities were apparent and he was unanimously chosen by his teammates to be the team’s captain. It also helped that Isiah possessed a cannon for a boot, was a powerful runner and hit like a truck. To gain as much experience as possible and improve his skills, Isiah also played summer sevens rugby with the Washington DC U19 program.

A person who has gotten to known Isiah for the past few years is his head coach with the DC U19 team, Brian Mihelic. “I can’t say enough good things about Isiah. He is a good student, an outstanding rugby player and an even better person. Although he has faced some real challenges in his life, he always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude. He is a leader, a role model and a positive example to his friends, teammates and family. He is an example of what rugby can do for all the kids in our program.”

Outside of rugby, Isiah participates in F.E.L.L.A.S., a Washington DC based group developed to help young men think, make decisions and set goals for their future. He also participates in Youth Community Workshops that is aligned with local churches in the DC region. Isiah has been a participant as well as a section leader in the program’s choir. He is often asked to speak before other groups because he is such a powerful leader and inspiration to many and has spoken in front of groups in Delaware, Maryland and the DC area.

Isiah is Washington, DC Youth Rugby’s first player to ever continue onto college and further pursue his rugby career. He has excelled in the University of Mary Washington’s rugby program and earned a spot on their first-team. “Not only is Isiah competing, he is excelling,” said University of Mary Washington head coach, Tim Brown. “He is even reaching out to other kids from his DC league and urging them to get their grades up and go to school. He has been an absolute joy to work with.”

One day, Isiah hopes to compete at the international level. He sees the sport as a conduit to accomplish his dream of seeing the world and experiencing all it has to offer.

“I will be studying psychology at UMW and want to be a sports therapist practicing psychiatry after my rugby career. My goals outside of rugby are to have a family, a nice place to call home with a backyard where I can relax after a long day’s work. I want to be able to say that not only am I the first person in my family to go to college but also the first person to own property and land. Rugby has opened new doors for me, a new life to explore, lots of travel opportunities, time to learn who I am and what I really want to do with my life.”

He hopes his story will inspire others to achieve great things as he continues to be an example to all.

Congratulations Isiah on being named a 2010 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.

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