Lord Botetourt senior Miette Veldman was the recipient of two prestigious awards last week. She was honored by the Virginia High School League as the Class 3 Female Athlete of the Year, then was named the winner of the B’nai B’rith Award on Thursday.
The Allstate Foundation/VHSL Achievement Award comes with a Queen Anne Revere bowl and a letter from Allstate confirming the scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Allstate and the VHSL award 19 scholarships including a male athlete, a female athlete and an academic recipient for each of the VHSL’s six school classifications, plus a Courageous Achievement Award.
“I am thrilled to let you know that a committee of athletic directors and VHSL staff has selected you to receive one of 19 2020 scholarships,” said Mike McCall, Director of Communications for the VHSL, in a letter to Veldman. “I understand that much has been taken away from you because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The VHSL truly grieves with you on what you have lost during the past few months. While this award cannot replace those memories, we certainly hope you will take a moment with your family to appreciate all your extraordinary accomplishments as we honor you with this scholarship.”
A total of $28,500 in scholarship money was awarded to the 19 senior recipients. The Achievement Awards are the highest honors given by the VHSL to students who have excelled in the classroom, communities and in athletic and academic activities. The Allstate Foundation has partnered with the VHSL for 13 years and contributed $289,000 in scholarship funds to empower and support the education of tomorrow’s future leaders.
“The Allstate Foundation is proud to support these next generation leaders and history-makers from Virginia,” said Shaundra Turner Jones, Allstate Sr. Corporate Relations Manager. “These amazing young students have shown outstanding initiative both in and outside of the classroom. We know that many families have encountered significant financial hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is an honor to assist the VHSL students in their future endeavors and watch them achieve their full potential.”
“We congratulate all these outstanding students for the hard work and perseverance it took to earn this award,” added Dr. John W. “Billy” Haun, Ed.D, VHSL Executive Director. “We believe that the real-life lessons they all have received from participating in VHSL activities and athletics offer insights into leadership, overcoming adversity and mutual respect that cannot be learned anywhere else. Without a doubt, they are better prepared for their future ahead and we wish them all the best.”
Last Thursday Veldman was named the female B’nai B’rith Award among the 19 schools in the Roanoke Valley. Logan Baker of William Byrd was the boys’ recipient.
Established in 1951, the B’nai B’rith Athletic and Achievement Awards recognize and honor student athletes, both men and women, for their scholastic success, good citizenship and character, as demonstrated by their extracurricular commitment to community service. The B’nai B’rith awards were conceived by a small number of Roanoke’s Jewish communities who were also members of the international organization known as B’nai B’rith, which in Hebrew means “Sons of the Covenant.”
The B’nai B’rith organization was founded in 1843 and is the oldest fraternal Jewish organization in North America. It grew into a major social service organization and provided aid to impoverished immigrants from Eastern Europe. The organization has become an international force and has spun off other entities.
The B’nai B’rith supports Jewish values and culture, but has also worked to foster cooperation among various religions and has promoted religious tolerance. The local B’nai B’rith chapter is the Israel Friedlander Lodge. They sponsor the B’nai B’rith Athletic and Achievement Awards, which each year honor student athletes from high schools in the Roanoke and New River Valleys.
Veldman participated in volleyball and basketball for Lord Botetourt. She was first team all-state in both, including three years as Class 3 state volleyball Player of the Year. Miette was a member of five state championship teams, three in volleyball and two in basketball. She’ll be attending James Madison University next year on a volleyball scholarship.