Although the holiday season is far from over, Lauren Briseño may have received the best present this year from a white elephant gift exchange.
Briseño, a college sophomore at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, recently gathered with her teammates at her coach’s house to watch the bracket selection for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. The team also participated in a white elephant gift exchange.
While many ended up with many ended up with silly gag gifts, Briseño was left holding a box that contained something every student athlete dreams of: a full scholarship.
Last year Briseño joined the volleyball team as a walk-on. She went on to become the only freshman to play every match for the Baylor Bears in 2021.
This season she went on to become the team’s starting libero, a key defensive player.
Despite her performance, she had yet to be rewarded for her excellence in volleyball. While many of her teammates had received scholarships to attend Baylor University, Briseño still had to pay tuition, roughly $50,000 per year.
But that all changed when Briseño and her teammates went to their coach’s house for a gathering.
During their white elephant gift exchange Briseño unwrapped a blanket, however an assistant coach “stole” the blanket and the sophomore was forced to open another gift.
She ended up with a box. Inside was a proclamation which she was told to read aloud.
When Briseño got to “the reader of this proclamation has earned herself a full scholarship” she was in tears.
“I was not expecting it whatsoever,” she said after a match days after the surprise. “Lo and behold, I get this mystery box and I had no idea what it entailed and I opened it up and sure enough it’s a scholarship and I just burst into tears.”
A Baylor spokeswoman told ABC News that coaches are limited to the number of scholarships they can hand out each year. This year Briseño was awarded the full-ride scholarship.
“I truly was just left with so much joy. I’m so grateful to be here, playing with this team, playing with these coaches and just not letting scholarship, not scholarship, not letting it define who I am as a player, but just being eternally grateful for what I have.”
Please this heartwarming story.