First SCIS female athlete to NCAA Sports Program
Isabelle Johnson, a student from Shanghai Community International School Pudong Class of 2020, has made history by being the first SCIS female athlete to commit to an National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports Program. She will join the Minnesota Women’s volleyball program at Concordia College Moorhead.
Q: What do you like most about volleyball? When did the idea of playing at NCAA occur to you?
A: I started playing in the 9th grade. I like the team spirit of being there for each other as a family. Serving also comes to mind. It’s the one aspect that you can entirely control on your own. You can work on it to get better for the team without having to drag your teammates into it. As for NCAA, it was when the Sacramento State Hornets Women’s Volleyball came to SCIS to practice in our gym. Watching them practice was the spark that started it all.
Q: What was the hardest part of achieving this goal? Aside from financial factors, what other things did you take into consideration in terms of school choice?
A: The waiting game and making a final decision were not easy. I picked the college based on the financial offers available and then what I like about the school and the programs they offered.
Location regarding who could come to visit was also a main factor. It’s important that my grandparents and my aunt can come to see me often. Attending the camps also played a big part. That’s when I started to like the team aspect as players would actually come up and interact with you. It was that small family-type feel that I really liked.
Q: What was the recruiting process like? Can you share the major tasks?
A: I started in the 11th grade at the beginning of the year, but luckily, I had started making videos after 10th grade to watch my game and see where I could improve. The process will take time and so patience is a good thing to have.
Q: How many schools did you reach out to in total?
A: I reached out to roughly 50 schools. I narrowed down the search by looking at schools that I liked and that were priced reasonably. That’s when I started sending e-mails, which was a major task requiring a timely process. Lastly visiting some of the campuses was very important.
Q: How has your time at SCIS helped you prepare for the next step?
A: What prepared me most were sports and academics. Being able to meld and interact well with the team is something that I take pride in. Academically, I hope the workload in college is like that of now.
Q: Any words of advice that you’d like to share with SCIS students?
A: Nothing is impossible. Start as early as you can by simply recording your games and putting together footage. It will not only help you work on yourself as an athlete but also makes it easier for entering college.
(This article is contributed by Mikael Masson Perez, digital marketing and communications officer at SCIS.)