JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Samira Zantout of Kansas City, MO, a senior at North Kansas City High School, is one of six students in Missouri to win the 19th annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri.
Zantout wrote an article titled “Under Aged Gambling.” She will receive a $1,000 Project 21 scholarship towards tuition at University of Missouri – Kansas City. She plans to become a pharmacist.
“Teens are still trying to find their way. We are more likely to fall into the grasp of alcohol and drugs because we are trying to make sense of world,” said Zantout whose article was published in the North Kansas City High School newspaper. “Under-age gambling can fall into that category as well as alcohol or any other drug. It’s like a substance abuse of its own.”
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.
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. Founded in 1993, the Missouri Gaming Association works to increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. For more information, visit www.missouricasinos.org.