Sugar Bowl senior wins $10K Jeff Wattenmaker Scholarship | SierraSun.com

Sugar Bowl senior wins $10K Jeff Wattenmaker Scholarship

For the past decade the Far West Masters Scholarship Program has awarded the Jeff Wattenmaker Scholarship to a student based on academic achievement, work ethic, leadership and citizenship.

During the past four years, Sugar Bowl Academy senior Sarah Sophia Hudson has embodied those traits, and as a result, has been named this year's winner of the $10,000 college scholarship.

"I was really excited," said Hudson. "Of course, for the money for school, but also it means a lot to win an award from Far West Masters. It's a cool community that I'm a part of for the rest of my life."

Hudson, an alpine skier on the Sugar Bowl team, will attend the University of California, Santa Barbara next fall.

"I'm undecided at this point, but I know I want to do something humanities based," she said on choosing a major.

Hudson grew up in Olympic Valley, and owns a 3.94 GPA going into next week's graduation at Sugar Bowl Academy.

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The highlight of her racing career came at the end of this season at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho, but it wasn't her performance on the snow that made the day special.

"I was there with almost my entire team," Hudson said. "And it was some of my last ski races that I'll ever do. It was just really cool to be there."

As a skier she said her favorite event is super G, a discipline that exemplifies her attitude on and off the slopes.

"It's all or nothing," Hudson said on the event. "You really have to just send the run."

That mindset should serve her well as she pushes out into the unknown, and onto the course for her freshman year at Santa Barbara.

"I applied without going to look at the campus, and then when I got in I went with my mom to look at it, and I really liked the feel of the campus," said Hudson. "Just trying something totally different from being in the mountains, it's going to be kind of wild how different it's going to be."

The annual Jeff Wattenmaker Scholarship has been handed out for the past 10 years. To be eligible a student must be a member of the Far West Masters Scholarship Program and be accepted to an accredited University, Junior College or vocational school for the coming fall.

"The Wattenmaker family is proud to be a member of this community and love being part of the Masters scholarship program to help ease the financial burden for the wonderful young adults who are in pursuit of a college education," according to a statement from the Far West Masters Scholarship Program.

Jeff Wattenmaker initiated his namesake scholarship prior to his death from melanoma in 2010.

For more information on the program visit FarWestMasters.org.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.