Chick-fil-A ‘Triple-A’ – University Heights Academy’s Ava Colburn


Ava Colburn and her University Heights Academy girls’ soccer teammates enjoyed a special season in 2023, with a program-record 18 wins, a second-straight 8th-District title, and a 2nd-Region runner-up finish.  Ava captained and started all 22 games for the Lady Blazers to earn a spot on the All-District team and help lead them to an All ‘A’ Final Four appearance.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the well-rounded senior who had the opportunity to take part in the Governor’s Scholar Program at Centre College while excelling in the classroom and the community.

Ava’s hard work on the pitch helped the Lady Blazers reach new heights, but she’s just as dedicated to her academic pursuits.  With a 4.2 GPA, she is a member of the National Honors Society and Senior Beta, and since 6th grade has taken part in the Kentucky Youth Assembly, aimed at “developing engaged citizens and servant leaders,” and “fostering critical thinking, leadership, and social responsibility in teens.”

In a recurring theme for Ava’s extra-curricular endeavors, the NHS “provides schools with a values-based framework to elevate a culture of scholarship, service, leadership, and character… by empowering, championing, and recognizing well-rounded students.”  The Beta Club also touts academic achievement, character, leadership, and service by “providing opportunities and experiences to impact our members, their schools, and communities across the world.”

One of the challenges students face as they transition from high school to college is budgeting their time, but if the last four years are any indication, Ava has it all figured out.  She’s a part of Youth Leadership and the Rotary Interact Club, while also working on the school’s yearbook.  Socially, she is in Sub Deb and Key Club, while also finding time to aid her community as a Challenge House Tutor.

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Rotary Interact Club members organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding, while Ava’s work with Challenge House includes providing after-school assistance to kids in the community.

Ava’s continued hard work allowed her the opportunity to attend the Governor’s Scholar Program at Centre College last summer where she studied Astronomy.  GSP was a transformative experience for her, with strangers quickly becoming some of her best friends.  A general studies class called ‘The Uncredited Non-Fiction’ was one of Ava’s favorites, allowing her to learn how recipes and cookbooks have changed throughout history and providing her a chance to do lots of cooking.


Not having her phone with her for most of the week at Centre also had a profound effect.  While Ave said it was difficult at first, she realizes now that “memories I made in the absence of technology are some of the best.”  She also feels, despite a little homesickness at the start, that it did “an excellent job of preparing me to be away from my family,”  and made her “more comfortable meeting new people, a skill vital when I live in the dorms or join a sorority.”

While she is still considering where to continue her education, choosing between the University of Kentucky, Auburn University, or Clemson, Ava plans to study Health Science with an eye toward becoming either a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.

An impressive student-athlete with a passion for sharing her time, a thirst for new experiences, and an ambition to help and heal, Ava is what we look for in a Chick-fil-A ‘Triple-A.’

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