Highlanders Spotlight: Emma Burnett receives Heisman High School Scholarship

Student spotlights profile current Granada Hills Charter (GHC) students with inspiring personal stories of dedication, perseverance and academic achievement. This showcase offers an opportunity to lift up those who truly stand out, and evoke inspiration through various avenues of interest.


Meet Emma Burnett, current senior and student-athlete. She’s been on the GHC softball team since her freshman year. In her junior year, she was nominated team captain and throughout her high school career as a competitive athlete, she’s had the opportunity to really get to know her teammates and form lifelong friendships. 


The Heisman Trophy Trust has continued their 26-year tradition of honoring the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors and supporting high school academic and athletic programs across the country through the Heisman High School Scholarship. Applicants for this award must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better, they must be proven leaders and role models on campus and within their community, and they must have participated in at least one of the 48 school sponsored sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee or the National Federation of State High School Associations. Scholarship levels include national, state, and school site winners. This year, Emma was chosen as the recipient of the Heisman High School Scholarship for her school site. 


"There are no words to describe how proud I am to have Emma as a daughter. Her beauty and kindness shine inside and out, and you can’t help but feel pure joy just being around her. She truly is a blessing" -Michelle Burnett, Emma’s mother


Miss Burnett was nominated by Coach Carolyn Gunny, current GHC physical education teacher. She explains that as she was completing her application, she realized “they were getting to know me and getting to see who makes a good leader [through this process]; who has grown from the sport and learned a lot.” Softball has played an integral part of her life, ever since she started little league at the age of four. As time went on, Emma’s passion for the sport grew, and she eventually made her way to travel ball. “I wanted to get better, progress, and have colleges start to look at me,” explains Emma. Travel ball helped her to develop her skill, “become stronger, and a bigger leader within my community because it created this tough skin. It [helped] me prepare for the world ahead. You have to work hard to earn your spot, and if you don’t work hard, you’re not going to get the spot that you want and produce results to have other people realize your talent.” 


The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of things on hold, but it hasn’t deterred Emma from staying connected and pushing forward. Her faith has allowed her to keep a positive outlook and has helped her lift up her spirits. Her future goals are to play softball in college while pursuing a degree in medicine.      


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