Mackenzie Amaya

Photography courtesy of the Texas Rangers Youth Academy.

A Woodrow Wilson senior was one of six North Texas student-athletes who received a $10,000 scholarship from the Dallas Cowboys and spent the day playing on the practice field with linebacker Jaylon Smith.

Three-sport athlete Mackenzie Amaya was named an inaugural Star Scholar in May. The program, which was established last year as a partnership between the Dallas Cowboys and Reliant, recognizes student-athletes in Dallas, Arlington and Frisco school districts for their leadership, academics and commitment to athletics.

Amaya was chosen out of hundreds of applicants nominated by teachers, coaches, athletic directors and administrators.

“My athletic director and my basketball coach nominated me for this scholarship,” Amaya said. “I met with my athletic director to talk about the scholarship, and as I was talking with him, I couldn’t help but think there was no way I was going to get chosen out of all the other qualified applicants. I reassured myself that I had a fighting chance because of all the volunteer work, good grades and dedication I have.”

During high school, Amaya was a three-sport athlete in cross country, softball and basketball. She also participated in DISD’s Leaders in Training program and volunteered at Meals on Wheels, Austin Street Shelter and Jubilee Park Community Center.

“When I received the scholarship, I was speechless,” Amaya said. “I was so happy that I shed a few tears of joy. It feels amazing to know that people recognize my dedication and abilities in school and on the field. I am so grateful to all the people who made that day and the scholarship possible.”

The first-generation college student signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball as an outfielder at Ouachita Baptist University.

Amaya has played on the Texas Rangers Youth Academy RBI League team since 2019. She made the team after posting the fastest home to home, home to first and 40-yard dash times.

“Mackenzie can best be described as a hard-nosed softball player who has worked incredibly hard on improving every year,” said Juan Leonel Gárciga, director of youth baseball and programs. “She’s a three-sport athlete whose speed has made her a serious threat on the bases.”

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