Felicia Decker , an 18-year-old student at Ozark Technical Community College in Springfield, was selected as the grand-prize winner in the Missouri Lottery’s “Tools 4 School: The A+ Giveaway” promotion.
The Missouri Lottery, which currently contributes 97 percent of the funding for Missouri’s A+ scholarships for FY11, 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. 13 from a field of current and former A+ recipients who entered the promotion, Decker won $2,500. Additionally, three first-prize winners won $1,000 in prize money, and three second-prize winners won $400 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 started college this fall, and it is great knowing that the next two years will be paid for, so I can concentrate on my studies. It’s a relief not to worry about being able to afford tuition,” Decker said. “It also lifts a burden off my family, who greatly appreciates the program. Neither of my parents were able to finish college, so this program means a lot to me and my parents.”
Decker’s A+ participation allows her to attend OTC tuition-free, making the out-of-pocket cost for books and other school expenses much more manageable. Decker is studying for a career in graphic design.
Three first-place winners were also randomly selected during the drawing. Jennifer Dredge of Roach (a student at State Fair Community College), Casey Johnson of Columbia (a student at Moberly Area Community College) and Micah Jo Lemaster of Granby (a student at Crowder College) will each receive $1,000 to help with their school-related expenses.
In addition, three second-place winners were each awarded $400. Those prizes went to: Tara Taylor of Neosho and Chelsey Easter of Carl Junction (both students at Crowder college); and Tomorrow Whittom of Trenton (a student at North Central Missouri College).
Missouri’s A+ Schools Program, administered by the Missouri Department of Higher Education, has helped more than 50,200 students attend community college or a technical school since 1997.