Casinos Benefit Missouri
Casinos Benefit Missouri

Six Missouri students win scholarships from Missouri Gaming Association in 21st annual Project 21 competition


Click image to view high res version, then right click to download – $1,500 scholarship winners Reese Peyton Wood, Pierce Simmons

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Six Missouri 2017 high school graduates have been selected to receive college scholarships through the 21st annual Project 21 Scholarship competition sponsored by the Missouri Gaming Association, the statewide professional association of the Missouri casino industry.

The Missouri Gaming Association awards two $1,500 scholarships and four $1,000 scholarships, which are 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. 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.

In Missouri, it’s illegal for persons under the age of 21 to gamble in a casino. The students were asked to create an essay/article, poster or video aimed at educating their peers about the illegality and dangers of underage gambling. The entries were published or viewed in the students’ high schools in February or March, 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.

Statewide, the 2017 Project 21 winners are:

$1,500 Scholarship Winners
Pierce Simmons of Washington, MO
Washington High School
Poster – Make Your Life a Celebration

Reese Peyton Wood of Clarksburg, MO
Tipton High School
Poster – 21+ Is A Must

$1,000 Scholarship Winners
Muhammad Alasgarli of O’Fallon, MO
Liberty High School
Article – Heads Up! Know Why Underage Gambling Can Lead To A Bad Beat

Jillian Hackney of Carl Junction, MO
Carl Junction High School
Video – Underage Gambling

Alexis Liszewski of St. Paul, MO
St. Dominic High School
Poster – All Bets Are Off

Mikayla Cowan of Higginsville, MO
Home Schooled
Article – Underage Gambling And Its Consequences


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 promote responsible gaming and increase awareness of the economic benefits of casinos in Missouri. The MGA and its casino company members sponsor year-round responsible gaming programs including the 1-888-BETSOFF crisis line and referral service, Project 21 scholarship competition, and Responsible Gaming Awareness Week. For more information, visit

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Mary Schanuel
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