Missouri State University and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri are collaborating to provide the agency’s “alumni” Little Brothers and Little Sisters a chance to receive special financial support for college.
The new Missouri State University/Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri Freshman Scholarship is an annual renewable award of $1,500 available to students nominated by BBBSEMO.
Two students received the scholarship this year and qualifying students can qualify for future years.
Tashanna Rucker is senior director of Big Futures, an innovation launched by BBBSEMO five years ago to support alumni Littles after graduation from Big Brothers Big Sisters’ traditional 1:1 match program.
“Having worked at MSU in financial aid and scholarships in the past,” Rucker said, “I’m thrilled our BBBSEMO alumni at Missouri State will have a chance to experience its commitment to their success in this new way.”
The award goes beyond scholarship dollars by focusing on the overall student.
“MSU is home to a large number of first-generation and low-income students,” said Dr. Ryan Reed, MSU coordinator of Access Programs, “so financial assistance is very important. But we also know that intentional, holistic support and guidance is absolutely critical, and that’s what we provide to help students get across the finish line with their degree.”
Scholarship is part of larger partnership
Missouri State President Clif Smart said the partnership between the university and BBBSEMO supports the university’s public affairs mission.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri,” said Smart. “We share a mission to help all students be successful in life. We believe access to a college education is part of what makes that possible.”
BBBSEMO President and CEO Rebecca Hatter said the scholarship is part of a growing relationship between their organization and Missouri State.
“Relationships are our work and our joy,” said Hatter. “We know meaningful connection is key to the best possible college experience. We can’t wait to see how this innovative scholarship helps our alumni Littles grow and flourish, too.”
To qualify for the scholarship, students must be:
- A high school senior from St. Louis City or County, St. Charles County, or Cape Girardeau County.
- Active with BBBSEMO for at least one year.
- In good standing with the agency during their senior year.
Nominees also must meet Missouri State’s admission standards and enroll as a full-time student the same year they complete high school.