She's always been good enough to play with the guys. She even made history doing it.

Becca Longo is making history as the reported first female athlete to receive a football scholarship to a NCAA Division II college. But it almost didn't happen.

Becca always wanted to follow in the footsteps of her football playing older brother, but joining her high school's all-male football team was easier said than done. Even once she had proven herself a skilled athlete, she still found herself facing negativity and assumptions that women can't play football quite as well as men. She worked hard and got lucky — her school let her on the team with the boys.

Sophomore year, she was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and running track. She was a kicker on the football team and the team embraced her as one of their own, as they would any other player.


Then — as if busting the stereotype that girls can't play football wasn't hard enough — Becca learned that she had a stress fractures in her back. Doctors gave her the news every athlete dreads hearing: She needed to rest.

Dismayed, Becca spent her junior year strengthening her core and watching her teammates play from the sidelines. Finally, when senior year rolled around, she was ready and more motivated than ever to compete again — and compete she did.

Her story is an inspiration to any girl who wants to play football, and any athlete sidelined by an injury — it just goes to show what doors hard work, determination, and a refusal to bow to stereotypes can open for you.

Check out Becca's journey below:

Say hello to the first woman to land a Division II football scholarship.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.