JEFFERSON CITY, MO — Lacey Rucker of Tina, MO, a senior at Tina Avalon R-2 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.
Rucker produced a video on the hazards of underage gambling and the resources available for those with a gambling problem. She will receive a $1,500 Project 21 scholarship towards tuition at the University of Missouri – Columbia.
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.
“Kids see others gambling frequently while growing up,” Rucker said in her video. “They need to know that if they start at a young age, the urge to gamble will only get worse.”
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.