Five Texas County Memorial Hospital Youth Ambassadors received scholarships to help with their academic expenses for the upcoming school year.

Gwen Kincaid of Mountain Grove, Elizabeth Turpin of Cabool and Hannah Tillery of Licking each received $750. Abagail Moncrief of Licking and Ann Gunter of Norwood were each awarded $500. All five recipients are 2020 high school graduates.

Kincaid plans to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia and pursue a dual bachelor’s degree in biology and mathematics. After she finishes her bachelor’s degree, Kincaid plans to attend medical school and become an anesthesiologist.

Turpin will attend Missouri State University in West Plains for two years, and then transfer to Missouri State University in Springfield to earn a bachelor’s degree. Turpin hopes to become a physician after she finishes her bachelor’s degree.

Tillery plans coursework at Missouri S&T in Rolla and pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology with a pre-med emphasis. After she finishes her bachelor’s degree, Tillery plans to attend medical school and become a virologist.

Moncrief will study at East Central College in Rolla to become a registered nurse.

Gunter will attend classes at Missouri State University in West Plains and pursue a degree in physical therapy.

Turpin, Tillery, Moncrief and Gunter volunteered at TCMH through the Youth Ambassador Program for the past two years, accumulating 300, 200, 150 and 90 volunteer hours, respectively. Kincaid has volunteered through the Youth Ambassador Program for one year and has 160 hours.

The students have the opportunity to serve  in a variety of different departments within the hospital.

“There are a lot of different career paths within the hospital that these students can learn about and experience,” Renina Pearce, volunteer services coordinator. said.

Funds for the $3,250 in scholarships came from the Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship Fund administered by the TCMH Healthcare Foundation. 

The foundation established the fund in 2015 with local community partners and Community Foundation of the Ozarks through the annual “Give Ozarks” day fundraising effort. 

Additional scholarship funds for this year were provided through a grant from the Intercounty Charitable and Educational Foundation, The Durham Co., Progressive Ozark Bank, Orscheln Industries Foundation Inc. and Burch Insurance – Toni McKinney, agent.

With giving efforts from 2020 and previous years, the Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship Fund is at $38,000. 

Jay Gentry, healthcare foundation director, noted it is continuing to grow the endowment fund.

This spring was the first year that three $750 and two $500 scholarships have been able to be awarded to the Youth Ambassadors.

Scholarship recipients are asked to fill out an application and write two essays that ask about the student’s future academic and career goals, as well as their involvement in the Youth Ambassador program.  

TCMH Youth Ambassadors are high school juniors, seniors or college students from Texas County and the hospital’s service area. The students are chosen in the fall each year, and are required to volunteer a minimum of four hours each month to remain in the program.

Additional information about the Youth Ambassador volunteer program or the healthcare foundation can be found at www.tcmh.org.

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