Chelsea's Andrea Kowalski is a MHSAA Scholar Athlete

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photo by Mike Williamson

Andrea Kowalski is the perfect example of a student-athlete.

She's done it so well in her time at Chelsea High School that she’s now being honored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

The MHSAA announced on Feb. 16 that Kowalski was one of eight student-athletes selected from Class B member schools to receive scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program.

The announcement was a big moment for Kowalski, and it came to her at a perfect time.

“I was super excited and so grateful to be chosen,” said Kowalski. “I actually originally found out I had won the award mid basketball practice, so it was special to have my teammates around to celebrate that moment with.”

According to the MHSAA, Farm Bureau Insurance is in its 32nd year of sponsoring the award and will give $1,000 college scholarships to 32 individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament.

Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. 

Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Kowalski is in her second year of varsity basketball and will play her fourth year of varsity soccer this spring. She also ran varsity cross country as a freshman and sophomore.

She’s earned all-league and all-region in soccer, helped the varsity basketball team to league title in 2020 and the cross country team to a Regional title in 2017. She is a captain in basketball and soccer.

All the while she’s carrying a 4.425 GPA and earned AP Scholar with Honor recognition. She’s also a member of the student council, National Honor Society and civic engagement club.

To top it off, she’s earned positions of flute section leader for the marching band and first chair for band/wind symphony, and earned Division 1 rating at all judged musical performances. 

In thinking about the time devoted to academics, extracurricular activities and athletics, Kowalski said there have been some important people who have supported her along the way.

“I would like to thank my parents for consistently supporting me and being my biggest fans, but also all of my teammates and coaches who have grown with me through the years, taught me to fight with my heart, and made every moment memorable,” she said.

She also thanked the MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Committee for its recognition, as well as Chelsea High School’s Athletic Department and coaches for their nomination and support.

“Sports have been an avenue for me to travel and meet athletes like myself in places I could've never imagined, so I'd also like to thank my home club soccer team of Michigan Rush Jackson and the National Rush Select program for giving me these incredible experiences,” said Kowalski.

photo by Mike Williamson

Excelling at athletics and academics can be challenging, so how does she do it?

“I think I take the same approach in both,” she said. “It takes a lot of discipline, but also a competitive drive to put in the hours and dedicate myself to be successful. I don't accept anything less than my best, and I think that really shines through in both academics and athletics.”

As far as what motivates her, she said she genuinely wants to be someone that people will remember for the right reasons.

“I feel the obligation to set an example for those who look up to me, to represent my community in the best light, and to give it all for my teammates and peers,” she said. “I've always been someone who is motivated to do well, and I know my work today will give me opportunities for the future.”

And it’s that community that also means so much to her.

“Chelsea is a really special place that has continued to lift me up in the classroom and on the field,” said Kowalski. “I am grateful for the overwhelming community support and pride, as well as the abundance of opportunities available to kids like myself. I've enjoyed playing sports with the people I've grown up with and feel well prepared for my life beyond Chelsea High School.”

The next thing beyond CHS will see her attend the University of Michigan and study at the College of Engineering.

Each of the scholarship recipients will be honored during an online ceremony later this winter. Commemorative medallions will be given to the finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

photo by Mike Williamson
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