image of recruiter, Jason Butler, helping a student sign upEarlier this month thousands of spectators poured into the Arena at Montgomery County High School for the 10th region boys basketball tournament. Amongst the crowd were twelve high school students, fully intending to watch the games, not be part of the action. For the first time in history, Maysville Community and Technical College (MCTC) partnered with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association to create a unique and fun way to award six full tuition scholarships towards an associate degree.

Throughout the first half of each game, high school students were encouraged to sign up for the chance of a lifetime. Two names were drawn per game and each student had one minute to compete in a free throw shooting contest in hopes of winning a full tuition scholarship to MCTC.

Chandler Clark, a senior from Mason County High School, was the first student to win a scholarship. With original plans to pursue a partial golf scholarship at an out-of-state university, mother Patti Clark commented on Facebook, Chandler is now rethinking going away to college!

Cory Moore, senior from Harrison County High School won the second scholarship. I was just shocked they called my name, said Moore. I was excited and nervous, but when I was shooting, I just blocked everything out. Moore plans to attend MCTC in the fall, earn his associate degree in two years and then transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelors degree. My parents were really excited, they didn't believe me at first.

Chase McElfresh, junior from Augusta High School put his shooting skills to the test. I was really nervous and I hadn't shot free throws in a while, admits McElfresh. He is currently taking two early college dual-credit classes at MCTC and had planned to get an associate degree at MCTC prior to pursuing a bachelors at a four year institution. I really wanted to win it, he added. Proud mother Charla McElfresh commented on Facebook, Im so thankful to MCTC for this opportunity to further Chases education at a wonderful college, stated Charla McElfresh. I am ecstatic.

Alexis Reed, Mason County High School sophomore, also got a turn at the foul line. Reed, who also plays on the MCHS junior varsity basketball team, put her shooting abilities to work and won during the semifinal games. We are so very appreciative of this opportunity that MCTC has provided, said Tera Reed, Alexis mother. She is going to start taking full advantage of it and plans to take early college dual-credit classes starting this summer. Dual-credit classes allow high school students to take college classes and receive dual credit, which would be applied towards both a high school diploma and a college degree once they successfully complete the class.

Montgomery County High School senior Paul Alfrey was out of the gym when his name was called, but thanks to some friends, he made it back just in time. Pauls mother, Tonya Alfrey, was not at the game but recalls her phone being blown up with texts saying Congratulations to Paul.

I kept thinking, What on earth has he done? she stated. Several moments later, Paul told her that he had won a full-tuition scholarship to MCTC. We are so excited; in fact people are still asking us about it. Prior to the tournament Alfrey had been debating on going to MCTC or a state university. Now he plans to pursue an associate degree at MCTC then transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelors degree.

Kaylee Barrett, Augusta High School senior, won the final scholarship during the semi-final game. She plans to pursue medical assisting at MCTC in the fall.

This was an awesome opportunity for students in the area and a great way for MCTC to show their commitment to continuous education to the surrounding counties, stated Montgomery County High School Athletic Director, Kevin Letcher. Weve heard nothing but positive comments from the schools involved in the tournament and it was awesome to see the excitement of both the students and their parents after winning the competition.

MCTC President Dr. Stephen Vacik presented certificates to the winners, We witnessed great competitors on the court over the tournament and our college wants to create that same excitement when it comes to pursuing postsecondary education. I hope we were able to remind students to take their best shot at the future, beginning at MCTC.

MCTC awards associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 25 areas of study. The College has four campuses located in Maysville, Mount Sterling, Morehead and Cynthiana. More information can be found on our website.