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Cindy Dao Scholarship

“The ability to learn is a gift so keep learning.” is the motto Ms. Cindy Dao often reminds her three sons. She is the mother of a former Encore head coach and swimmer, Victor Nguyen. At the age of six, she and her family emigrated from Vietnam. Coming from a family of educators, she followed her parents’ footsteps of teaching and advocating education for all student learning. Getting a good education has been embedded into the way of life since Cindy and her five siblings learned how to talk. After graduating from San Jose State 1993, she had managed several daycare and tutoring centers for over 20 years. Now that all her children are grown-up, she is returning to school to get her Masters in Education.

The scholarship is named after her because she is a true advocate for all student learning. She believes everyone has the ability to learn and do their best when given an opportunity, encouragement, and support. Whether it is one student at a time or a classroom full of students, she values their potential to change the world and would advocate for the opportunities they need to be all they could be.

All of the athletes on the Encore swim team has access to a great education, a great team, and a great community. Coach Victor has created this scholarship, to award student athletes that have made the most out of the opportunities they have been blessed with. The award is designated to those who are achieving academic excellence, shown commitment to the team, and given back to the community that raised them.

The scholarship funds and application reviews are managed by Victor Nguyen and Cindy Dao for undergraduate college students and awarded at the end of swimming season during the banquet every year. Evaluation is based on numerous factors including academic honors and recognition, current GPA, community service, leadership experience, and any other relevant accomplishments.

Eligibility

  • Encore swimmer in the 15-18 age group for four years
  • Registered full-time student at an accredited junior college, college, or university

Submission Requirements

  • Scholarship Application by July 1st
  • 500-1,000 word Essay, “Why are you a good candidate to receive this award?”
  • High School Transcript

If you are in need of help in completing any of the requirements, feel free to contact Victor Nguyen.

- Victor Nguyen and Cindy Dao

Congrats to Cruz Wong & Ryan Schader - our 2018 Scholarship Recipients 

Congratulations to Cruz Wong (middle left) and Ryan Schader (middle right)! The Cindy Dao scholarship was founded based on the merits of athletics, community service, and academics. You two young men have gone above and beyond to excel in these parts of your lives and I know you will continue to grow and do big things. I was fortunate enough to coach you two and watch you surpass me as swimmers. I hope this scholarship supports you as you strive for academic excellence. Go Encore!

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Lauren
Lauren Dillon Head Coach

Encore is excited to have Lauren return as a Co-Head Coach again this summer! Lauren has been in love with the water since an early age. Starting synchronized swimming she quickly progressed to waterpolo at the age of 10. She played for the Stanford Water Polo club until the age of 18 where she was recruited to play for the women’s D1 Water Polo team at Santa Clara. Along the way Lauren won several championships playing in eight Junior Olympics with Stanford. As well as CCs and WCAL championships during her four years of JV and Varsity swimming and Waterpolo at Saint Francis high school. During her summers Lauren has been actively teaching and coaching swim and waterpolo lessons at Saint Francis. She is currently attending Santa Clara working towards a degree in Political Science with a minor in history. 

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Doug Rigg Head Coach

Encore is estatic to welcome Co-Head Coach Doug! Douglas Rigg started swimming at the age of 4 and competed in swim and water polo into college. He entered his first triathlon when he was 21 years old (Raps – Stanford). It was a reverse tri, which meant the swim was last. This allowed him to get the bike and run out of the way and finish with the event he likes best.

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Doug has coached several youth soccer, baseball, volleyball teams, including serving as the assistant varsity volleyball coach at Valley Christian High School. During his time at Valley Christian, he started a swim group in which friends and other athletes have been training 2-3 times per week for over 7 years.

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Kayla
Kayla Ryan Coach

Hi, I’m Kayla Ryan. I am a D1 student-athlete at the University of Hawaii at Manoa majoring in psychology. I swam on Encore for 11 years. During my time at Encore, I achieved 11 team records (the first swimmer at Encore to have a record in every stroke and in every age group), I received 9 MVP awards, 2 presidents awards, a Coach’s award, and I won over 70 races. I had so many great summers and memories because of Encore, so it has always been my dream to come back and be a coach. I have always wanted to coach because I want to help the kids become the best swimmers they can be while having fun and creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

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Sabrina Nijmeh Coach

Hi everyone I’m Sabrina Nijmeh and I have loved being in the water ever since I could remember, I started swimming at 4 and joined Encore at age 6 and loved it, I am also on my school swim team. This will be my third year of coaching at Encore and I can not wait to help the kids improve on their strokes and times. Coming from a family that is filled with younger kids I am able to get along well with them. Encore is such a great team where kids can form many memories and enjoy coming to practices and meets. I can’t wait to start the summer with seeing old faces and welcoming new faces who I’m sure will become longtime dolphins. See you in the pool!

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Madeline Mauldwin Substitute Coach
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Ruby
Ruby Doushgounian Volunteer Asst. Coach

Hi everyone, I’m Ruby Marie! I’ve been in the pool ever since I can remember and, with encore since I was six year old. I have also been on a year round swim team throughout the years. This coming year I will be entering high school where I will join the water polo and swim teams. Last year, I helped out with the six and unders and really enjoyed it! I’ve made lots of friends on this team and have great memories because of it. I really love swimming for the team and trying my hardest at the races! Every year I have had an amazing summer and hope to make it just as amazing for the kids!

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Doga
Doga Zeybek Volunteer Asst. Coach

Hi, I’m Doga Zeybek. I’ve been swimming since I was about 2 years old! Since then, It’s been my favorite sport. My favorite stroke is backstroke, but my goal is to improve my time on all four strokes. This will be my second year with Encore, and my first year as a volunteer assistant coach. This team has made me such a great swimmer, and I could definitely say that my summer was a blast on Encore! After creating such good bonds and memories with other coaches, volunteering as a coach with this team is a dream come true! I’m looking forward to another great year with Encore!

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Deva
Deva Zeybek Volunteer Asst. Coach

Hi fellow swimmers, I’m Deva Zeybek. I’ve loved swimming since I was just a baby at 2 years old! I joined my first swim team at the age of 8. Since then, I’ve always been on a year-round competitive swim team. This will be my second summer on Encore, but my first as a volunteer assistant coach. Last summer was a memorable one as I bonded with coaches and other swimmers. Encore is a great team, and I look forward to spending some quality time with younger swimmers. I’m very dedicated to the sport, and I hope I can help others love it as much as I do! 

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Maddie
Madison "Maddie" Borges Volunteer Asst. Coach

Hi my name is Maddie Borges! I’m 15 years old and a freshman at Pioneer High school. I’ve been swimming since I was 3 years old and have been on encore for 10 years now. This was my first year swimming on the Pioneer team which has also prepared me for the Encore season. This will also be my first year as an assistant coach and I’m so excited to be able to get in the water and help out with the younger kids! Being on the team has helped me make so many new friends and has made such an impact on my swimming. It’s so much fun every summer because this team is like a second family to me and I can’t wait to start another amazing season!!

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