JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Tammy Yang of Raymore, MO, a senior at Raymore-Peculiar High School, is one of four students in Missouri to win the 23rd annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri. Yang will receive a $1,500 scholarship towards tuition at the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to major in multinational management.
Yang created a poster titled “Don’t Bet On It” that focuses on the impact teenage gambling can have on people as they become adults.
“Studies show that teenagers who are introduced to gambling are more likely to become addicted as adults,” said Yang. “Research shows that the ‘rational’ part of the brain is not fully developed as teenagers; instead they use the ‘emotional’ part of the brain to make decisions when they face the option to gamble, thus allowing unhealthy gambling habits to develop.”
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 students were asked to create an essay/article, poster or video aimed at educating their peers about the illegality and dangers of underage gambling. The entries were published or viewed in the students’ high schools in January or February to help educate other students.
The Missouri Gaming Association awards one $2,500 scholarship and three $1,500 scholarships, jointly issued to the winners and the accredited institutions of higher education they select.
“The Missouri casino industry is dedicated to education in our state, both through the education funding from gaming tax revenues and through awareness efforts like Project 21,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association. “Young people are influenced mostly by what they hear from their peers, so Project 21 encourages students to learn about the issues of underage gambling and to share that information with their classmates.”
ABOUT 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 promote responsible gaming and increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. The MGA and its casino company members sponsor year-round responsible gaming programs including the 1-888-BETSOFF crisis line and referral service, Project 21 scholarship competition, and Responsible Gaming Awareness Week. For more information, visit www.missouricasinos.org.
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