Casinos Benefit Missouri
Casinos Benefit Missouri

Cleveland Student Wins Scholarship From Missouri Gaming Association


JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Tessa Mills of Cleveland, MO, a senior at Cass Midway High School, is one of six students in Missouri to win the 19th annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the professional organization representing casino operators in Missouri.

Mills wrote an article titled “The Consequences of Underage Gambling.” As second-place winner, she will receive $1,500 Project 21 scholarship towards tuition at Missouri State University – Springfield. She plans to study digital animation as well as architecture.

“I was actually surprised to find out that underage gambling is as big of a problem as it is,” said Mills whose article was published on the homepage of the Cass Midway High School website. “Out in little rural Missouri, we don’t hear much about it. I did research and found it was a big problem.”

The Missouri Gaming Association annually awards two $1,500 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships, jointly issued to the winners and the accredited institutions of higher education they select.

The Project 21 Scholarship was developed to educate young people about the issues and dangers of underage gambling. In Missouri, it’s illegal for persons under the age of 21 to gamble in a casino. The competition is open to all Missouri high school seniors planning to attend an institution of higher education in the United States within four years of graduation.

The scholarship requires students to create essays, posters or videos on the illegality and dangers of underage gambling and publish or display them in their schools to help educate other students.

“We know that young people are influenced by their peers, so Project 21 encourages them to learn about the issues of underage gambling and share that information with their classmates,” said Mike Winter, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Association.

The Missouri Gaming Association (MGA) is the statewide trade association of the Missouri casino entertainment industry. Founded in 1993, the Missouri Gaming Association works to increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. For more information, visit

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Rachel Brown
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