rootEd Alliance

Cerda, Spence awarded $10K rootEd scholarships
Posted on 10/06/2020
Nayeli Cerda and Khelie Spence

A pair of Poplar Bluff High School graduates of the Class of 2020 were recently awarded the rootEd Undergraduate Scholarships, valued at $10,000 per year, renewable up to 10 semesters toward a bachelor’s degree.

Award recipient Nayeli Cerda is pursuing a law degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and Khelie Spence is majoring in health sciences with an emphasis in pre-dental at the University of Missouri in Columbia, according to PBHS counselor Sara Woodard.

“…Over the past two years, rootEd Alliance has provided dedicated support to students from rural areas and small towns across Missouri as they pursue their education beyond high school,” wrote program representative Lisa MacDougall in an announcement dated Monday, Sept. 28. “This year, in partnership with the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, rootEd will distribute over $275,000 in ‘last-dollar’ scholarships to 31 undergraduate and transfer students from rural Missouri, filling critical gaps in students’ financial aid packages to help ensure they graduate debt-free.”

Administered by the Scholarship Foundation, the rootEd Alliance program was launched in 2018 to improve postsecondary education opportunities for high school seniors from 14 specific Missouri communities, according to its website. The mission of the philanthropic endeavor is to “clear a path to a stronger future for students in rural America.” The application for next year’s rootEd Alliance Scholarship will open in January.

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