About Derek Rackley? Derek Rackley is a 1995 graduate of Apple Valley High School. While attending AVHS, Derek was recognized as a leader in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community. He was also considered by both faculty and his peers to be a positive role model for students of all ages.
First and foremost, Derek was a conscientious student. He frequently made the honor roll while carrying a challenging course load. Derek was active in both sports (football, basketball and track & field) and fine arts (music and dance), earning multiple letters throughout his four years at AVHS. His primary sports interests were football and basketball, serving as captain for both teams his senior year. Finally, Derek was active in the community, acting as referee for VAA (Valley Athletic Association), participating in the D.A.R.E program, and encouraging younger kids to make wise choices through his participation in AVHS’ Developmental Psychology (DP) program.
Derek attended the University of Minnesota and pursued a degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing. As a determined walk-on, he earned a place on the Golden Gopher football team his freshman year. Hard work and dedication earned Derek a full football scholarship his remaining three years in college. He earned multiple letters for his performance as the team’s long snapper and back-up tight end and was recognized with four Academic All-Big Ten honors. In addition, Derek was honored as a GTE District V Academic All-American his senior year.
Derek graduated from the U of M in 1999 and secured a position with General Mills as a Sales Management Associate in Minneapolis. At the encouragement of Gopher football coaches, Derek decided to play his final year of eligibility while working full-time during the day and taking graduate school classes in the evening. His performance during the 1999 season attracted the attention of numerous NFL scouts and resulted in more than one invitation to sign with a professional team as a free agent. Derek accepted an offer from the Atlanta Falcons, signing his first NFL contract in April of 2000. Derek excelled at the professional level, playing in 122 games during eight seasons with the Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. Now that his playing days in the NFL are over, he is currently working with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney as a Financial Advisor in Atlanta. In addition, he keeps himself around his passion of sports as a television broadcaster and color analyst for various outlets including the Big Ten Network.
Derek acknowledges the importance of all those who encouraged and supported him in getting to this point in his career. As a way of “giving back,” Derek formed the R.A.C.K. Foundation (Rallying Athletes to Care about Kids), which awards two scholarships annually for AVHS student-athletes that meet certain criteria.
What is the objective of the award? The Derek Rackley Student-Athlete Scholarship was created to provide college scholarships for two (one male and one female) AVHS student-athletes annually. The winners of these scholarships must be positive role models and demonstrate leadership in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community.
What are the specifics of the scholarships? A committee comprised of AVHS faculty and administration and Derek’s family will select two student-athlete applicants who meet the role model and leadership criteria. Scholarship monies in the amount of $5,000 will be issued directly to the winning applicants’ college upon receipt of a valid fee statement. *SCHOLARSHIP PAYMENT WILL BE SENT TO YOUR COLLEGE AFTER NOVEMBER 1, 2013 How are the monies raised to fund the scholarships? The scholarships will be funded by the annual Derek Rackley Golf Classic, which is held in Georgia. The Fragile Kids Foundation will be the recipient of all funds raised in excess of the annual scholarships.
When will the winners be announced? The Derek Rackley Student-Athlete Scholarship winners are announced each year during the Senior Awards Ceremony on Friday May 18, 2012.
Who qualifies for the Scholarships?
All senior male and female college-bound student-athletes at Apple Valley High School may apply for the scholarship.
How do students apply for the Scholarship? Students must complete the enclosed application form and submit it to the student’s guidance counselor or the Career Center.
What is the deadline for application completion and submission? No application will be accepted after May 9, 2013 at 2:30pm.
APPLE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
DEREK RACKLEY STUDENT-ATHLETE SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION FORM
Fill out the attached packet as accurately and completely as possible and return to the AVHS Career Center or your counselor.
Include a letter of recommendation as described, transcript, personal statement, and activities list.
STUDENT'S NAME _____________________________________________________
Transcript. Please complete any necessary releases to permit AVHS to include a copy of your transcript with this application.
PART’S B, C & D (Please attach a typed or neatly printed separate sheet for each item) PART B:
Personal Statement 1. Describe your educational and career goals as you enter college including intended major (if decided) and any activities you plan to pursue.
Personal Statement 2. Describe how you qualify as a positive role model and how you demonstrate leadership in the classroom, on the field (or court), and in the community. Please include how you might use your post secondary education to give back to others.
Extenuating Circumstances. Describe any circumstances unique to you and your family that would be useful to the committee when considering your application.
Recommendation. Attach one letter of recommendation, from someone OTHER than Apple Valley High School personnel or family. *(Remember to make a copy of this form yourself for possible future use.)
Activities List. List the activities in which you have been involved, the number of years of participation and if/how you played a leadership role in that activity.
IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ: By signing this form, you agree to release all information included in and with this application to the scholarship selection committee for review and evaluation. Your signature is also your attestation that all information included herein is true and accurate. If it is later determined that any information on this application is false or by inclusion or exclusion of information falsely represents the applicant’s eligibility for this scholarship, you understand that the application will be disqualified and any and all scholarship funds already distributed must be forfeited to the scholarship fund.