JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Robert Eric Zielinski of Freeman, MO, a senior at Cass Midway R-1 High School, is one of six students in Missouri to win the 18th annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri.
Zielinski wrote an article titled “Project 21: Underage Gambling.” He will receive a $1,000 Project 21 scholarship towards tuition at Benedictine College.
The Missouri Gaming Association annually awards two $1,500 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships, jointly issued to the winners and the accredited institutions of higher education they select.
“Underage gambling is illegal and if caught, a minor could face community service, probation, house arrest or even jail time,” Zielinski wrote in his essay. “Children may think gambling is just a way to have fun but he/she could develop an addiction without even realizing it.”
The Project 21 Scholarship was developed to educate young people about the issues and dangers of underage gambling. In Missouri, it’s illegal for persons under the age of 21 to gamble in a casino. The competition is open to all Missouri high school seniors planning to attend an institution of higher education in the United States within four years of graduation.
The scholarship requires students to create essays, posters or videos on the illegality and dangers of underage gambling and publish or display them in their schools to help educate other students.
“We know that young people are influenced by their peers, so Project 21 encourages them to learn about the issues of underage gambling and share that information with their classmates,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association.
The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry, which is celebrating its 20th year. The Missouri Gaming Association works to increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. For details, visit www.missouricasinos.org.