Two Houston High School graduates received scholarships through the Youth Ambassadors program at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Monica Hunter, who will be attending Truman State University to study physical therapy, was awarded $500. Melody Tate, who is attending East Central State University in Rolla to study nursing, received $250.

Hunter and Tate have volunteered a combined 744 volunteer hours the past two years at the hospital. Tate is currently employed in the TCMH emergency department.

A committee of five TCMH employees from various hospital departments chose Hunter and Tate as the scholarship recipients based on their applications and essays for the scholarships.

“Monica and Melody have shown exemplary efforts as volunteers at TCMH,” said April Steele-Clem, TCMH volunteer coordinator. “They have always been punctual, reliable and eager to do whatever is asked of them.”

Funds for the $750 in scholarships came from the Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship Fund administered by the TCMH Healthcare Foundation. The Healthcare Foundation set up the fund in 2015 with local community partners and Community Foundation of the Ozarks through the annual “Give Ozarks” day fundraising effort.

With giving efforts from 2015 and 2016, the Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship Fund is at $20,048. Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director, said the foundation is continuing to grow the endowment fund with hopes of giving away two $500 scholarships to Youth Ambassadors each year.

“Currently the fund levels only allow us to give out $750 in scholarship funds, but that is also greatly appreciated by the recipients,” Gentry said.

According to Gentry, the Youth Ambassador endowment will need to reach $25,000 to allow two annual $500 scholarships.

TCMH Youth Ambassadors are area high school juniors or seniors or college students that are chosen for the program each fall. Youth Ambassadors are required to volunteer a minimum of four hours each month to remain active in the program. As volunteers, the students do a variety of services in the hospital and in patient care areas.

“These scholarships are a great way to reward students that have been faithful volunteers at their local hospital,” said Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer. “Monica and Melody are very deserving of this honor, and we wish them the best as they pursue a college education.”

Additional information about the Youth Ambassador volunteer program or the Healthcare Foundation can be found at

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