OREGON COUNTY -- Across the area nine students received Physical Therapy Specialists Clinic (PTSC) Memorial Scholarships this year, and three of those students were from Oregon County. Each scholarship was for $1,000.
Since the program began in 1998 PTSC has awarded 30 scholarships worth $30,000 to students in the area to advance their education.
"We started this program for several reasons: first, to set up a memorial for some special young people from southern Missouri who had made an impact on their community and exhibited leadership potential but who lost their lives at a young age; second, to promote higher education for students that have strong leadership skills and high academic achievement; finally, we set up the scholarships to encourage these students to bring their skills back to this area after college," said Mary Shed, owner of PTSC.
Three of the scholarships have been established for Oregon County residents or for someone having ties locally. They include: Christel AraSmith Chester, daughter of Gayle and Dee AraSmith of Alton; Tyler Simer, son of Danny and Maggie Simer of Mountain Home and the grandson of Lloyd and Katherine Best, and Jean and Alan Simer all of Thayer; and Nathan Murphy, son of Velma Blevins of Alton and the late Ralph Murphy.
Craig Cooper, son of Gary and Tammy Cooper of Thayer will receive the Tyler Simers Memorial Scholarship. He is a past-recipient of a PTSC Memorial Scholarship and a junior at Rhoades College in Memphis. He was selected to receive a $1,000 renewable scholarship because of his leadership skills and academic achievement while in college.
Cooper is majoring in political science with minors in music and religious studies. Originally from Thayer, he plans to attend law school and pursue a career in law.
Jennifer Hyde is the daughter of Rusty and Debbie Hyde of Thayer. She is also a past scholarship recipient and this is her third year to be chosen by the board to receive the scholarship through this program. She will receive a renewable scholarship in memory of Cynthia Holloway-Coatney.
Hyde is a sophomore at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. She is majoring in English education with long range plans to achieve a PhD and become a professor at a major university.
Tyler Oesch, a senior at Alton High School, is the son of Mr and Mrs. Phillip Oesch. He will receive the Christel AraSmith Chester Memorial Scholarship. He will major in civil engineering at the University of Missouri at Columbia. His plans are to put use his education to work in southern Missouri and one day make his home on the family dairy farm.