Kelley O’Hara giving students opportunities to pursue their dreams


Photo via Flickr (Jamie Smed) under Creative Commons license

Kelley O’Hara playing in 2017 in a game against New Zealand. O’Hara has teamed up with AFC Lightning to fund a scholarship for student-athletes to achieve their educational and athletic goals.

Mary Jane Gagliano, News Editor

United States Women’s National Team player and Starr’s Mill alumna Kelley O’Hara has teamed up with AFC Lightning to distribute a scholarship under her name to two senior AFC Lightning players. Each scholarship is worth $4,000 and will be given to two student-athletes that meet the requirements and complete an application. 

“I want the [recipients] to have obviously been with AFC,” O’Hara said. “I want them to love soccer but also be keen on their education, value it, make it a priority, and maybe have aspirations to play soccer after college, or already have plans on what they want to do beyond the soccer field.”

This year, FIFA has provided the money for the scholarship through a program in which they selected players from the USWNT to give money back to their youth club soccer teams. 

“[AFC Lightning staff] thought about how we could turn around and use the money to continue to take [O’Hara’s] good fortune of being successful, and put that money into a scholarship,” AFC Lightning director Steve Muccillo said. 

In the future, AFC Lightning wants to make the scholarship an annual thing, so they are looking for corporate sponsors to help fund the scholarship.

“It’s exciting for some of our players to have the opportunity to get even more money [for college],” Muccillo said. “Maybe they didn’t get an offer [to play soccer] for the school they want to go to, and this will help them pay for it, so we are pumped for it.” 

In order to apply for the Kelley O’Hara Scholarship, students must be a senior female who plays soccer with AFC Lightning, and will be playing soccer in their fall semester of college. To submit an application click here.