Emily Walstrum is the recipient of the 2011 Frank A. Yapps Memorial Scholarship through Harford Gymnastics Training Center.
Walstrum, who graduated from Bel Air High School in the spring and began her freshman year at Salisbury University this fall, was also honored with the prestigious Region VII Gymnastics Scholarship.
The Frank A. Yapps Memorial Scholarship was established seven years ago to honor the spirit and memories of the devoted gymnastics professional Frank A. Yapps, who founded Harford Gymnastics Training Center in Joppa. Mr. Yapps believed in helping young individuals create a solid foundation on which to grow through their involvement in the sport of gymnastics. The scholarship is awarded each spring to a current or past member of Harford Gymnastics who articulates the benefits and character development that gymnastics has to offer.
The Region VII Gymnastics Scholarship is given to two gymnasts each year from the mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia) who have demonstrated excellence and commitment to gymnastics and to academics.
Walstrum, a member of Harford Gymnastics' competitive program for 12 years, spent the past two seasons as a solid leader to Harford's Level 8 squad. She was a two-time Level 8 Regional Qualifier and had a stellar senior year in 2011, capturing the Maryland State All-Around title and being crowned the Level 8 Regional Floor Champion, topping the best competitors from six states in the mid-Atlantic area.
Walstrum acted as a stand-up example to her younger peers at Harford Gymnastics, initiating and organizing a big sister-little sister program for Harford's competitive athletes. This program promotes team bonding and unity across all the competitive levels and age groups. Walstrum headed this program for the past three years.
In addition to her accomplishments in the gym, Walstrum excelled academically throughout her high school career, a difficult feat considering the hours she dedicated to her gymnastics training. She was on the honor roll all four years at Bel Air High School, and was a National Honor Society member during her junior and senior years. In preparation for pursuing her education degree at Salisbury, Walstrum was a member of the Future Educators Association and was a kindergarten intern during her last two years of high school. She also served as a morning library aide from sixth through 12th grade.
Taking her interest in teaching and her gymnastics knowledge to the next level, Walstrum instructed classes and camps at Harford over the past few years. She plans on continuing to teach gymnastics as she attends Salisbury University and competes for Salisbury's club gymnastics team, which is in its first season.
"Harford Gymnastics has been a part of my life ever since I can remember and there is nothing that I don't love about it," Walstrum reflected. "Receiving this scholarship is so important to me because of the kind and generous person Mr. Frank was, and what he meant to Harford. I know that without Harford Gymnastics, my life would not be the same."