Taylor Rowe, an 18-year-old student at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, was selected as the grand-prize winner in the Missouri Lottery’s “Tools 4 School: The A+ Giveaway” promotion.
The Missouri Lottery, which contributes 86 percent of the funding for Missouri’s A+ Scholarships for FY10, conducted a special prize drawing to highlight the high level of student achievement required to participate in the A+ Schools Program. In the drawing held Dec. 14 from a field of current and former A+ recipients, Rowe won $1,000, and three first-prize winners won $400 in prize money to put toward a laptop or other school essentials.
All A+ recipients must meet attendance and grade requirements, as well as provide at least 50 hours of mentoring services in their communities while in high school. In exchange, the students qualify for a state-paid financial incentive to attend a Missouri community college or vocational or technical school.
“I benefited from the A+ program because my family would have never been able to afford college for me otherwise,” Rowe said. “And I will be able to start my life not being thousands of dollars in debt.”
Rowe’s A+ participation allows her to attend Maple Woods tuition-free, making the out-of-pocket cost for books and other school expenses much more manageable. Rowe intends to continue her education at a four-year institution when she completes her Associate of Arts degree.
Three first place winners were also randomly selected during the drawing. Emily Lynne Ellison of Wentzville (a student at St. Charles Community College), Elizabeth Cannon of St. Louis (a student at St. Louis Community College at Meramec) and Maci Estes of Warrensburg (a student at Warrensburg Area Career Center) will each receive $400 to help with their school-related expenses.
Missouri’s A+ Schools Program, administered by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has helped more than 44,100 students attend community college or a technical school since 1997.