Plourde, who has played varsity softball, needs your help if she's going to win.
You can go to the site and vote from now until 3 p.m. April 18. The top 10 students who receive the most votes will be selected as finalists. They will be interviewed by a panel of judges in May. Three students per state will be selected as winners and they will receive $5,000 scholarships each.
Each entry included an essay on why the participant should be selected for the scholarship.
Here is Plourde's essay:
To be a true athlete doesn't just mean you are a good player; it is much more than that. First you need to have positive attitude no matter the circumstances. During my sophomore year of playing softball that positive attitude was stretched to its limits. It was the final inning of our second round states game where out strong lead was demolished by 8 errors. My teammates on the field and on the bench put their heads down in defeat but I never gave up hope for the team cheering every teammate on. We ended up losing the game eight to nine but it was a learning experience. It showed that a positive attitude goes miles in a tough situation. We all congratulated the other team on the outstanding defeat. They were the better team on the field that day. Another aspect you must have on the field is the respect for your team, but mostly your opponent. To be a true athlete you must have sportsman like conduct with everyone on the field from your own bench, to the other, and the umpires. I am a catcher and one pet peeve of mine is when a person hits and gets out or another person is coming to retrieve that bat I hand them to it. I do this out of respect of myself, the game, and the teams competing. I am going on to play college softball where all of these aspects will follow me in my success.
For more information and to vote, visit the Hood Scholarship website.