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High school student-athletes awarded Desert Financial's scholarship stand with Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders and mascot, Big Red, celebrating their achievements.

Breaking Barriers Scholarship

Honoring student athletes who break barriers and overcome obstacles.

The application period for this scholarship has ended. The next application period will begin in September.

Recognizing student athletes who make an impact

Since 2021, Desert Financial Foundation has offered a scholarship program for student athletes who show resilience in and outside of athletic competitions. Fifteen Arizona high school seniors participating in organized sports will be recognized and receive a $3,000 scholarship for their freshman year at an Arizona college.

Student Athlete Scholarship 2023


  • Be an Arizona high school senior graduating by spring.
  • Participate on a high school or other organized sporting team, such as a league or club.
  • Plan to attend an in-state college or university in the fall.
  • Have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.
  • You do not need to be a member of Desert Financial to qualify.
  • Demonstrate financial need. 

Before submitting a nomination, please review these important guidelines.

Resilient Arizona athletes inspire scholarships 


The Breaking Barriers Scholarships are inspired by Krysten Muir and Anthony Robles.

Krysten Muir broke barriers in 2015-2016 as a kicker for the Marcos de Niza High School football team in Tempe. She leaves a legacy as the first female to score a point in an AIA state championship game and to set the state record for points scored by a female in the season. In January 2021, Krysten was in a car accident that caused partial paralysis. Through her hard work and dedication, she continues to conquer her goals and be an example of resiliency in the face of adversity.

Anthony Robles, one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Arizona State University® history, broke barriers when he won the NCAA individual championship in 2011 despite being born with only one leg. He capped his collegiate career with a 36-0 record. Anthony became a motivational speaker and commentator inspiring athletes everywhere to be unstoppable.

Awarding scholarship recipients

15 scholars
will be selected and receive $3,000 each.
Krysten Muir Scholars
Two recipients will be chosen by Krysten as Krysten Muir Scholars presented by the Arizona Cardinals.
Unstoppable Scholars
Two recipients will be chosen by Anthony as Unstoppable Scholars presented by Anthony Robles.
Recipient notification
Scholarship recipients will be notified mid-to-late November to early December.

Scholarship application process

Step 1
Fill out the application. Make sure you’re able to complete the application in one sitting. Information on partially completed applications won’t be saved.
Step 2
Your application will be reviewed by Desert Financial Foundation.
Step 3
If your application is accepted for a scholarship award, you will be notified via email.

What Breaking Barriers Scholars are saying

"This is so exciting. It’s such a great surprise!"
Austin F.


Desert Financial Foundation is an exempt organization as described in section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, EIN# 81-1028132. 

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