MT. VERNON — The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Thursday presented scholarships to three area high school seniors, and awarded six classroom grants to fund local school programs.
Two students received the Chamber’s annual Student of the Year scholarship. They were Kirsten McGowen, a senior
at Mt. Vernon Township High School, and Bret Collins, a senior at Webber Township High School. Each received $1,000 to attend college in the fall.
The third student awarded was Julia Herzing, a senior at Waltonville High School. She received a tuition waiver scholarship to attend Rend Lake College. RLC and the Chamber are partners for the tuition waiver scholarship.
McGowen plans to attend Missouri Baptist in St. Louis next year. She is undecided on her major, but is hoping to study education and theology.
“I was really kind of caught off guard, like surprised, just because I knew there (were) so many people that had applied for it and they’re only choosing two Students of the Year,” McGowen said of her award. “So I was just really humbled by the opportunity to be given the chance to have a scholarship.”
Collins said he will attend Rend Lake College in the fall, then transfer to a four-year university after graduating from RLC. He is considering majoring in engineering physics, or possibly pharmacology or graphic design.
“I really excel at math and science,” Collins said, adding that he is grateful for the scholarship. “I am just so overwhelmed at the fact that I was chosen out of so many deserving students. My mind’s racing trying to comprehend all this.”
Herzing said she was overjoyed to receive the tuition waiver scholarship.
“I’m super excited to attend Rend Lake College because I’ll get a good jump on my career,” Herzing said. “I want to go into secondary education and then become a guidance counselor.”