Augsburg University senior forward Brooke Leone, who has positively impacted the sport of hockey through her volunteerism and activism, has been named the 2022 recipient of the College Hockey Inc. Scholarship, presented by JLG Architects. Leone will receive a $2,500 postgraduate scholarship that was created to celebrate an NCAA hockey student-athlete who helps build the game through their support of the next generation of hockey players.
The scholarship is given in honor of JLG founder Lonnie Laffen, a passionate college hockey supporter who passed away in 2020.
“It’s encouraging to see how many current college hockey players are already doing so much to ensure that hockey continues to grow and is experienced by as many young people as possible,” said College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Mike Snee. “There were several worthy applicants for this year’s scholarship, but Brooke rose to the top. We are very proud of Brooke and all that she has done to make the sport of hockey better today than it was yesterday. Thank you to our friends at JLG Architects for helping us celebrate Brooke.”
“It is an honor to present this year’s scholarship to Augsburg’s Brooke Leone, in recognition for her outstanding commitment to elevating the sport and comradery of hockey,” said JLG Architects CEO Michelle Mongeon Allen. “Hockey is in our hearts and has remained at the core of our professional passion. In supporting College Hockey Inc. and NCAA student-athletes who enrich and educate young hockey players, we pay tribute to JLG Architects’ founder and lifelong hockey supporter, the late Lonnie Laffen. This scholarship continues Lonnie’s legacy of empowering collegiate hockey players and passionate programs that make a positive impact on and off the ice.”
A native of Rochester, Minn., Leone played collegiately at Augsburg University (2019-22) and Hamline University (2018-19). Leone began volunteering with Minnesota Special Hockey during her freshman season at Hamline and also volunteered with Special Olympics Minnesota while a senior at Augsburg.
During her three seasons at Augsburg, Leone also led three separate concussion awareness campaigns to help raise support toward concussion research. In an effort to dispel myths surrounding head injuries and promote safe play within the sport, Leone annually educated hockey players of all ages on the symptoms and treatments of concussions.
Additionally, Leone has been highly active as a girls’ youth hockey coach, volunteering her time at the U10 and U12 levels – where she also served as a referee – and with the Learn to Skate USA and XHockey Training programs in Minnesota. She has also volunteered for the DinoMights, assisting the Minneapolis-based program with its mission of using hockey to provide urban youth with an incentive to develop physical, academic, social, and spiritual excellence.
“I am beyond grateful for receiving this scholarship,” said Leone. “Hockey has been a major part of my life from a very young age and has give me so many memories, important life lessons, and some of my best friends that I will always be thankful for. Being able to give back as always been important to me, as I would not have been able to play without the help of other families who helped support me throughout my career.
“Helping those in need is my way of paying it forward, not only in hockey but in all areas of life,” continued Leone. “Volunteering has always reminded me of why I started and how I can make a positive impact on the lives of others. I have chosen to continue my education in physical therapy to allow myself to be able to help those in need on a greater scale. Thank you to JLG Architects and College Hockey Inc. for this opportunity.”
“Brooke was a tremendous student-athlete with an incredible work ethic,” said Augsburg head coach Michelle McAteer. “Whatever Brooke commits to, she gives 100 percent. She embraced every community service event led by our team, but also took initiative and organized awareness weekends and fundraising events for the Headway Foundation.
“She also was very active in her own time, becoming an ambassador for the Special Olympics. One day after practice, walking past one of our rinks, Brooke spotted a kid out on the ice by himself. Brooke hopped on and began playing with him and he just lit up. Whether organized or impromptu, Brooke is always willing to help.”
Leone plans to use the College Hockey Inc. Scholarship to purse a physical therapy degree at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, where she is currently enrolled.
The College Hockey Inc. Scholarship, presented by JLG Architects, was first awarded in 2020 and is open to any NCAA hockey player (men’s or women’s, of any division). Applications required a written essay on the student-athlete’s contributions to the youth hockey community, which could be accompanied by videos, photos or other supplemental information. The winner was selected by a committee made up of representatives from College Hockey Inc. and JLG Architects.