Reginald Lewis’ Maria Uben and Owings Mills’ Wesley Beckett take home the Grand Prizes at the 82nd a
A total of six scholarship winners, winning $105,000 in college assistance, were announced at Monday’s virtual event
by Gary Adornato
The 82nd annual McCormick Unsung Heroes Awards took place Monday night, in a virtual format, and two Unsung Hero honorees were announced as winners of the $40,000 Charles Perry McCormick scholarship. Maria Uben of Reginald F. Lewis High School and Wesley Beckett of Owings Mills High School were the grand prize winners.
[caption id="attachment_179106" align="alignleft" width="400"] Victoria Garrick, who served as the keynote speaker at the 82nd annual Unsung Heroes Awards, poses with Wesley Garrick of Owings Mills High School and Maria Uben of Reginald F. Lewis High School, who each won a $40,000 Charles Perry McCormick Scholarship.
In addition, Evelyn Mirabile of Patapsco High School and Ragland Powell III of St. Mary’s High School each won $7,500 scholarships, while Caroline Godine of McDonogh School and Alex Mink of The John Carroll School each won $5,000 scholarships. The total scholarship money awarded on Monday was $105,000.
In all, 98 Unsung Heroes were honored for their unselfish and substantial contributions to the success of their teams. The evening also included a congratulatory message from Victoria Garrick, a former Division I volleyball player, TED Talk speaker, podcast host and mental health advocate.
Uben is a member of the women’s volleyball team at Reginald Lewis. She came to the United States four years ago from the Dominican Republic in search of an education and an opportunity for a better life. He scholarship victory certainly enhances that goal.
“I am going to use this money for college, also to improve the level of my education," said Uben. "It’s been hard, but I know my family is proud of me. In the Dominican Republic I was not going to be able to earn all of the stuff I am learning here in the United States. I am really grateful.”
When her team needed a middle blocker and setter, Uben stepped in without hesitation or prior experience to benefit the team. When presented with challenges, Uben consistently put in extra effort to master any new skill to make the team better. She is known for being the team’s cheerleader, often writing letters of encouragement to her teammates, despite having English as a second language.
In the words of her coach, “She is the ideal teammate when it comes to unselfish team play.”
Beckett, a member of the football team at Owings Mills, made sacrifices for the team on and off of the football field. During the pandemic, when the team was down an offensive lineman, he volunteered to play because he knew it was the best thing for the team, despite his desire to play running back. Beckett is described by his coach as “the ultimate teammate and student-athlete since he stepped on the campus four years ago.”
When a freshman teammate was having difficulty transitioning into the football program, Beckett guided him through drills and gave academic advice to ensure his teammate’s success.
“It means everything to me,” said Beckett who plans to attend Bluefield State College in West Virginia as a preferred walk-on with the football team. “Growing up I always wanted to make my mom happy. Being able to have this award for her, and for me, is a big thing for my family.”
Mirabilie could not have been more surprised by her award.
"I was very shocked,” said Mirabile who plans to start her college education on the community college level, and play sports, before moving onto a four-year school. “I did not think it was going to happen.”
Powell plans to use his award to attend Shaw University in North Carolina.
“The feeling was amazing,” who plans to play football at Shaw. “It would help every bit towards my family, helping me get towards college. That’s all that matters right now.”
Godine, an All-American lacrosse player headed to the University of North Carolina, was representing McDonogh's basketball team as an Unsung Hero.
“I was definitely surprised," said Godine. "I had no idea if I would win anything, but I am just super honored to win this award and receive the scholarship. I am super grateful to my coaches and my family to allow me to be here tonight.”
Mink credited his parents and coaches for putting him position for this honor.
“My parents, my biggest critics and supporters, I would not be here without them," said Mink who plans to study engineering at the University of Maryland. "My coach, Coach Don, he’s been coaching me since he was a little kid. They all brought me to where I am today.”
Pictured above: (From left) Ragland Powell III of St. Mary's, Alex Mink of John Carroll, Wesley Beckett of Owings Mills, Victoria Garrick, Maria Uben of Reginald Lewis, Evelyn Mirabile of Pataptsco and Caroline Godine of McDonogh.