University gives full scholarships

Lakin Adams

 

Missouri Southern will be offering a new scholarship for the families receiving a Habitat home, University President Bruce Speck announced on Saturday, Nov. 19.

The full four-year scholarships will be available for the 24 children of the families.  

“I’m grateful we’ve had the opportunity to serve our community,” Speck said at the event. 

The idea emerged from discussions among the President’s Council and a resolution passed from the staff senate called “Team MoSo,” which made Habitat for Humanity a special project. 

Nov. 19 was the first public announcement of the scholarships, but the idea had been in the works for some time according to Vice President for Student Affairs, Darren Fullerton. 

“The goal was to encourage some of the students to stay in the area and help rebuild Joplin for the future,” he said.

“We’re just trying to reach out to the community and help with the healing process. [Making it] stronger and better for the future.” 

The scholarships will cover the full cost of tuition, and students become eligible the first semester after they graduate from high school.  

The scholarships will not cover books or fees and will be in line with other academic scholarships.  

“There is no transfer of funds;  what we are doing is discounting the tuition,” Speck said. 

The staff senate reached out to Habitat for Humanity, designating two days for staff to volunteer their time.  

“Students and faculty have really stepped up to the plate,” Fullerton said.  

Chris and Marti Goebel, and their two girls, Grace, 7, and Emma, 5, were one of the ten families chosen for the build. 

“The scholarships are like a dream,” Marti said. 

“You dream about your future, and they’ve done that for us.” 

The Goebels were informed about Habitat for Humanity through Harry S. Truman Community Development Corporation, which provides low income housing as well.  

Scholarships have also been offered to other Joplin schools, including McAuley, Thomas Jefferson and College Heights high schools. 

Approximately 100 eligible students are already attending Southern and will recieve that funding by Christmas break if they haven’t already.

“All of these people out there have been touched by Southern,” Speck said. “[The scholarships] are one way to get us reconnected to the community.”  

Over 300 students indicated that they needed help due to the tornado and helping those is nothing short of a team effort, Speck said.

“We all work together as a team to get the kind of education students need to be successful,” he said. 

“Reach out to students. We want to make sure we pass the obstacles to help those students be successful.”