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Ozarks Students Receive Scholarships

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/ozarksstud_3226.mp3

Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded over half a million dollars in scholarship funds to students from area schools on Tuesday. KSMU's Kristian Kriner reports.

With standing room only, more than 300 students and family members filled a conference room at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks building in downtown Springfield.

Julie Leeth, vice president of the foundation, recognized the students and their awards as family members clapped and cheered.

Leeth says these scholarships are a great opportunity for students who wish to pursue higher education.

"As you could tell today, we had kids here from St. James, Missouri and Eldon, Missouri and Ozark and Republic and Fair Play and you know and just all over," Leeth said.

Community Foundation of the Ozarks handed out approximately 200 scholarship funds to local students.

Mallory McGinnis is one of the scholarship recipients.

The Central High School student says the scholarship will help her pay for her college tuition at Kansas State.

"I'm glad I got a scholarship because that seriously helped my out of state tuition payments. But I think all of these people worked really hard to receive all the scholarships that they got," McGinnis said.

High School students were not the only students to receive scholarship money.

Sarah Riccardi, a Religious Studies major at Missouri State University, received $750.

"It's really great. It's really going to help me further my career in Religious Studies and I hope to become a professor of Religious Studies someday," Riccardi said.

The scholarship money came from local donors who see the importance in kids seeking a higher education.

Leeth says all of these students are smart and they give her hope for a brighter future.

For KSMU News, I'm Kristian Kriner.