A Ricochet for Tomorrow

MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award finds its place with DHS Senior after a decade of vacancy.



Nora Chamas leaps to hit the ball over the net to her opponent in a match against Livonia Churchill High School. “Even though I do cross country, tennis is definitely a bigger part of my life,” Chamas said. The DHS girls varsity tennis team made it to the MHSAA Division One state Finals following a second place finish of the regional tournament.

Two percent. What might seem like small odds to many, were the same odds that DHS senior Nora Chamas beat. Earning the MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award, Chamas was one of the 32 out of 1440 applicants, part of the two percent, to earn the $2,000 across the state of Michigan.

The MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award is a scholarship presented to candidates based on their leadership and performance in both academics and athletics. Chamas, who excelled in both tennis and cross country, also maintained a high GPA, as well as many extracurriculars, including being president of the National Honors Society at Dearborn High. Chamas also wrapped up her athletic tenure by winning DHS Female Athlete of the Year, announced at the DHS Honors Night. It has been 10 years since a DHS student has won the MHSAA Scholar-Athlete award, and DHS Athletic Director Jeff Conway speaks on how difficult this scholarship truly is to attain.

“Our last winner from DHS was Lara Fawaz in 2012-2013, and we’ve had many students apply for it each year between then and now, which illustrates how difficult it is to win,” Conway said. “Hundreds of the best senior student-athletes from across the state apply every year, so to be recognized as one of the winners is very prestigious.”

Chamas said her family was initially skeptical, even when she was named a finalist, because she had to beat the odds a second time to earn the scholarship. 

“When I actually won, they were very proud, relieved, and they felt like, you know, I actually had it under control.

For the essay portion of the scholarship, a portion that determined the majority of the application, Chamas chose to write about tennis for the scholarship as it held a significant impact on her personally.

“Even though I do cross country, tennis is definitely a bigger part of my life,” Chamas said. “And I, you know, dedicate more time and more effort, and just even more thinking about it. And I just know the game more in and out.”

Chamas, in her leadership essay, talked about how her experience through tennis in Dubai stuck with her as she made the move to the U.S. in 2019.

“I briefly mentioned my transition of moving here from Dubai and the way that shaped me as a person and my love for the sport, because I started playing tennis there and then I brought it into America,” Chamas said. “It felt very comforting to have that one thing where I could bring it to this completely new life of mine, grow it as a hobby, and find myself in it.”

Chamas’s sister, Donna Chamas, spoke about her happiness and excitement for her sister’s achievement.

“I was confused at first, as I didn’t know what the scholarship was for,” Donna said. “But when hearing that she was the only Dearborn High student to get it, I was so unbelievably proud of her.”

Donna said that the scholarship will be beneficial to her sister’s college journey and was a surprise to behold.

“I’m sure the money will help her in college, and in her future career,” she said. “My family was shocked that she was able to earn such a prestigious scholarship, and we are all grateful that Nora was selected.”

After graduating, Chamas will continue on her journey to the University of Michigan with a Hail scholarship. Here, she plans to major in biology, leading to the ultimate goal of attending medical school.