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Missouri Students' Awareness Efforts Rewarded With Scholarships

Six Missouri high school students won scholarships in the 10th annual Project 21 Scholarship Contest, sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association (MGA), the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri. The winners were announced in April 2006.

The scholarships included two $1,500 and four $1,000 scholarships and were awarded to Missouri high school seniors. The students competed for the scholarships by creating an article, poster or video that educated their peers about the dangers of underage gambling.

The winners were:

  • Tyson Sprick of Kansas City, a senior at Raytown South High School, received a $1,500 scholarship;
    (click here to read Tyson Sprick's essay)
  • Kimberly LaVonne Luther of Waynesville, a senior at Waynesville High School, received a $1,500 scholarship;
  • Whitney Kertz of Huntsville, a senior at Westran R-I High School, received a $1,000 scholarship;
  • Daytona Barker of Auxvasse, a senior at N. Callaway R-I High School, received a $1,000 scholarship;
  • Trisha D. Nuelle of St. Louis, a senior at St. John the Baptist High School, received a $1,000 scholarship; and
  • Allison Skare of Kansas City, a senior at Oak Park High School, received a $1,000 scholarship.
    (click here to read Allison Skare's essay)

Kimberly Luther Poster.
Whitney Kertz Poster.
Kimberly Luther Poster
Whitney Kertz Poster

Daytona Barker Poster
Trisha Nuelle Poster.
Daytona Barker Poster
Trisha Nuelle Poster

“Students’ entries continue to impress us, year after year,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of the MGA.

Ryan said the MGA is strongly committed to promoting responsible gaming practices in Missouri. The Project 21 Scholarship Program plays a vital role in preventing underage gambling, according to Ryan.

“We are pleased to see that students across Missouri are learning more about the dangers of underage gambling, and then taking on the challenge of informing their peers,” said Ryan. “Plus, Project 21 provides students with the means and inspiration to seek a higher education. It’s a wonderful and effective program.”

The Project 21 Scholarship Contest is open to all Missouri high school seniors planning to attend an institution of higher education in the United States within four years of a winning entry. The students are asked to create an article, poster or video that will educate their peers about the dangers of underage gambling. The submitted article, poster or video must have appeared in the entrant’s high school in some form (published, posted or viewed) in January or February of the contest year. The MGA announces the winners of two $1,500 prizes and four $1,000 prizes each spring and jointly issues checks to winners and the accredited institution of higher education of their choice.

“The casino industry in Missouri is committed to education, whether it be through the taxes paid to the state by each casino property, or through the allotment of funding for this particular program,” said Ryan. “Project 21 is unique, though, because it deliberately draws attention to an issue we are constantly trying to address. It’s a true opportunity to educate.”

The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry and related professionals. Formed in 1993, the MGA provides research and information to increase awareness of the economic benefits of Missouri's casinos. For more information, visit www.missouricasinos.org/.

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