2020-21 KEVIN HIGGINS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: ANGELINA NIU OF LIFE UNIVERSITY
2020-21 KEVIN HIGGINS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
Angelina Niu credits rugby for providing her with an outlet and an enhanced confidence that is like no other. Not only has the sport influenced her to become passionate about growing stronger, faster, more skilled, and smarter on the pitch, but also in every other aspect of her life. Angelina played for the West Shore United Girls Rugby team. Her rugby achievements and accolades speak for themselves; 2018 Division II Pennsylvania State Champion, 2018 West Shore United 15s Most Valuable Back, 2018 Penn State Select Side High School Game captain and player, 2019 West Shore United Girls Team Captain, 2019 West Shore United 15s Most Valuable Back and holder of Most Tries Scored, and more.
Niu’s play has landed her on some of the best teams in the nation, including selection to the Pennsylvania All-State Team, Penn State Select All-Star Game and most notably the Girls High School All-American East Side and Chula Vista teams. “As a leader of the West Shore United Girls Rugby team Angelina strived to make the team the best it could be. She ensured that all players felt included by encouraging them while playing and planning events for the team outside of practice and games. Angelina led by example, being focused, and actively participating at practice. She took on any challenges she faced in stride and was committed to overcoming them. She is the type of leader that was admired by her peers, and earned the respect and trust of the coaches,” said Lauren Shissler, West Shore United Girls Rugby Head Coach.
Off the pitch, Angelina was highly involved in many extracurricular activities and philanthropic endeavors. She participated in cross country, basketball and volleyball, in addition to dedicating over 250 hours toward earning Baptiste Yoga instructor certification. Not only does she have quick feet on the field but was also recognized as one of the nation’s best Irish dancers, earning a score of accolades, including: 2-time Regional Irish Dance Champion (2014 and 2015), 3-time North American Open National Irish Dance Champion (2013, 2014, and 2015), and placing 2nd at the World Open Irish Dance Championships in 2014. Throughout her high school career, she served over 100 hours of community service spending time at various local retirement homes, soup kitchens elementary schools, ministries, and more. Niu will continue her academic and athletic career at Life University, where she intends to major in psychology and pursue a doctorate degree. She is passionate about being able to help people and would like to incorporate that same passion into a career.
Angelina is eager to continue to grow as a player and athlete at the collegiate level for the Running Eagles and is hungry for an opportunity to represent the United States in the future. In the meantime, she is focused on representing herself, her team, her country and family by displaying the skills she has honed, and is proud to display, as a result of her love for the game of rugby.“
Angelina is a relentless worker on and off the field. She has such a passion for the game, and we are so lucky to have her as a Life University Running Eagle. She will undoubtedly be a leader both on and off the field. She will excel in many capacities over these next few years,” said Head Coach of Life Women’s Rugby, Rosalind Chou.