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Harlingen High School South senior Aransas Haley has dedicated most of her high school career to swimming.

Her athletic success unexpectedly assisted her in obtaining the $100,000 Mood Scholar Award at Southwestern University.

Although the scholarship is not exactly sport related, Haley believes her success in swimming is what ultimately led to her attaining this endowment.

“I strive to make high grades in all of my courses,” Haley said. “But I think the accomplishments that helped me stand out the most were that I was a record breaker during my sophomore year and I have been district champion twice in breaststroke.”

Her devotion extended far beyond the classroom and swimming. While education and athletic ability remained a top priority during high school, she also found time to focus on other hobbies and passions.

“I think people who receive recognition for their efforts are the ones who draw upon grit, it’s what is at the core of their being,” Haley said. “Whether that is patience, passion, strength, endurance, or perseverance. They use that to guide them and help them through their most challenging moments. The reason why I am so honored by this scholarship is because it shows that someone recognized my grit.”

Haley wishes to pursue screenwriting and acting in college and even though her current plans don’t include collegiate swimming, being part of a swim team at HCISD has taught her skills that she will use for a lifetime.

“Swim is a full body cardio workout that you don’t get to breathe through. It’s exhausting but you have to keep pushing through because it is so important to strive to reach your goals,” Haley said. “Swim taught me patience and perseverance. Some advice I followed and would like to pass on to other students is to balance everything in your life. It’s important to find that personalized equilibrium that will make you happy and successful.”

Haley’s scholarship will be disbursed over a four-year period at $25,000 annually. According to Southwestern University, the merit scholarship process is very holistic and takes into consideration every aspect of a student’s high school experience.

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