Arkansas Scholarship Lottery celebrating fifth anniversary

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Bianca Garcia, graduate of Buffalo Island Central High School and senior at Arkansas State University, is one of many students who has benefited from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. She was chosen to be part of the five-year campaign and featured on a video to be shown. (Photo provided)

Town Crier News Staff

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) is celebrating its fifth anniversary. ASL has raised $460 million helping more than 150,000 students at 47 different colleges and universities throughout Arkansas in just five years.

The ALS funds scholarships to Arkansas residents enrolled in public and private nonprofit two-year and four-year colleges and universities in Arkansas.

The football season was chosen to highlight the success of the scholarship program with pre-game and on-field presentations being held at several universities in recognition of the milestone.

One of the many on-field presentations will be held at Arkansas State University on Nov. 8 when they host South Alabama.

Buffalo Island Central graduate and ASU senior Bianca Garcia was one of several students who received the scholarships and are featured as part of the five year campaign.

Bianca is a 2011 graduate of Buffalo Island Central and is majoring in history with a minor in Spanish. She will earn her BA degree and plans to go on to law school.

"The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery means to me that I am able to come to college and better myself," Bianca said. "I'm not worried about financial issues because that is covered through this scholarship. It has given me the opportunity to be more involved."

Bianca has been very involved serving as yearbook photographer for the fall 2011-2012 year. She is a member of the Chi Omega sorority, serving as Chi Omega Executive Board secretary in 2013 and vice president in 2014; the National Panhellenic Council Executive Board 2013, vice president of Standards; Hispanic Outreach and Latino Appreciation, 2013 secretary, 2014 service chair; ASU Diamond Doll; Pre-Law Club-marketing chair; 2014 Global Student Leader; 2013-2014 Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges: College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Bianca said she was honored to be chosen to be part of the anniversary campaign.

"The videos at the games are a good way to bring attention and awareness to the Arkansas Lottery scholarships," she said. "I encourage others to apply for the scholarship. It is renewable each year."

Bianca is the daughter of Antonio and Candi Garcia of Monette. She said her high school counselor, Mrs. Willyerd, helped her when she was applying for scholarships.

ALS Director Bishop Woosley will be at ASU on Nov. 8 for the on-field presentation. As part of the five year campaign Woosley will visit the University of Arkansas, University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in addition to ASU.

"Now is the perfect time to reflect on the beneficiaries and how the lottery is providing an opportunity to further education in the state and for these students as we celebrate the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery's five year anniversary," Woosley said.

Woosley said several new lottery games will be available including a special five year anniversary $10 ticket launched this week. There is also a $5 Monopoly Millionaire game with the top prize between $15-$25 million and an estimated 20 to 50 second tier million dollar prizes. Also launching in January will be "Lucky for Life" with the top prize $1,000 a day for life.

Several five year anniversary commercials featuring students on Arkansas campuses will be running.

Woosley has been with the lottery since 2009 and served as director since February of 2012.

"We exceeded what we expected," Woosley said.

He said sales have dropped a little partly because of the economy and partly because the new has worn off.

"The Scholarship Lottery has benefited the goal of higher education in Arkansas," Woosley said.

For more information on how to apply for an Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, students can visit www.adhe.edu or download the free YOUniversal app for smartphones.

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