The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation announced that applications are open for the fourth annual Buccaneers Girls in Football Scholarship.
The scholarship is available to high school girls nationwide who play organized football, want to wholeheartedly pursue a career in sports, have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) during their high school academic career, are scheduled to graduate this spring and plan to enroll full-time at an accredited four-year college or university.
Applications are open until April 20, 2023. The scholarship recipients will be announced at a later date.
At the forefront of inclusiveness and gender equality, the Buccaneers became the first NFL team to establish a scholarship of this kind in 2020, made possible through a $250,000 commitment by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation. Last year, the four 2022 scholarship winners – Olivia Zorilla (Florida State University), Kaylen Thomas (Mount St Mary’s University), Jairis Gomez (Florida State University) and Elle Bohlman (University of Notre Dame) received surprise boxes at their respective homes delivering the news.
“Growing up, I always thought that working in the sports industry was a job for men,” said Olivia Zorilla, one of last year’s recipients. “I have always loved sports and the environment it creates but was never displayed the possibilities I had as a woman in the sports world. That was until I began to see more females covering sports or on the sidelines running the show. Once flag football started booming, it was revealed to me that you don’t just have to be a professional athlete or broadcaster to be plugged in. The influence that the Buccaneers and NFL have made in high school girl’s flag football has made it more clear to me that women actually do belong in sports and have outlets to showcase their love for it.”
The Girls in Football Scholarship is just one of the many ways the Bucs organization is committed to gender equality both on and off the field. In 2021, the team launched the Women’s Summit for Careers in Football, an ongoing program that strengthens the pipeline of women pursuing NFL careers through informative, engaging sessions featuring high-profile hosts and Buccaneers leadership. For the past several years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation has hosted the largest girls flag football tournament in the country with the Girls High School Flag Football Preseason Classic, presented by AdventHealth. The multi-day event brings together more than 70 high school teams and over 1,500 student athletes in a round robin-style competition to kick off the high school flag football season in Florida. The team also established the Jr. Bucs Girls Flag Football League, an inaugural league in the City of Tampa, where the Foundation covers league fees and equipment for all girls who play. And through in-school programming, the Jr. Bucs Middle School initiative brings flag football to more than 35,000 middle school girls every year.
To learn more, visit https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/buccaneersgirlsinfootball/