Immokalee Bulletin

IHS student becomes first volleyball player to receive a scholarship

“It feels good knowing that I successfully completed all my years of high school and now I’m on the road to college. Knowing that I have something good going for myself feels great,” says Estfania Louis, who will be graduating from Immokalee High School in a few weeks and will be attending North Carolina Central University where she will be the first Immokalee volleyball player to recieve a scholarship.

“I never pictured myself in this position, to be getting my college education at NCCU feels good and I’m ready to further my volleyball career,” Louis added.

It took Louis an entire year to decide that NCCU was the right school for her. After visiting the university and meeting her soon to be coaches she knew that becoming an eagle was the right choice. “NCCU just felt like home, the coaching staff brought me in like I was part of their family, they let me know that they would help me with anything I need from my academics, tutoring and they provided me with an academic advisor that would be with me throughout my college career and that sense of security wasn’t offered at other schools.”

Going off to college is a joyful moment but can also be a difficult transition for some students including Louis. “I’m nervous about keeping up with school and volleyball and I’m nervous about playing volleyball at a level that I’ve never played before, but I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life and I’ll be working towards my major and my career which makes me happy. I’m excited to experience college life and of course volleyball!”

Volleyball was just a fun hobby for this star athlete, but after spending countless hours on the court, her love for volleyball grew rapidly. Besides volleyball, the I.H.S senior has participated in travel volleyball, basketball, track and has always been eager to try softball. Louis has been playing sports for seven years and gained interest in athletics after hearing numerous comments about her height and constantly being asked if she played sports.

Jokingly, Louis said, “Let me give it a shot, I don’t want to be like my sister, tall for nothing, so I started playing sports and I liked it.”

Volleyball became one of Louis’s favorite sports to play because of all the doors it opened for her and basketball because her coach Bridgette Toombs pushed her to be the best athlete, student, and person she could be.

The soon to be graduate made it very clear that she would miss her family, her coaches, and friends once she goes off to college, but waking up at 6 a.m. and eating the questionable cafeteria food were a few things that were not going to be missed.

Louis really encourages athletes in high school to focus on their academics and not only sports because school is just as important. “It was hard for me to balance two sports and school. Sometimes I was getting off flights at 2 a.m. and had to be up at 5 a.m. for school. Even though I was exhausted I did my best not to miss school because I didn’t want to deal with credit denial. I made sure all my school work was done, I never wanted sports to be a reason as to why I wasn’t doing my best in school.”

With graduation quickly approaching a few last words Louis would like to say to her coaches are “Thank you so much for all the help that you guys provided me with and all the doors you opened for me and always pushing me to be a better person, athletically, academically and socially and not only being around for sports but being around when I was going through stuff.”