Morgan Rich, a student at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus, is one of 10 students in the nation selected to receive a Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education, a $5,000 award.
The Pearson Scholarship is awarded to Phi Theta Kappa members who are civically engaged in their community through service and who demonstrate leadership, academic rigor and excellence. Nearly 800 applications were received.
Rich, who was a contestant in Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality competition this summer, was selected for Top Speech Winner and in the top 10 overall. She was awarded a $500 scholarship for winning the speaking category.
“It did not surprise me to learn that Morgan finished in the top three in Miss Hospitality and had the most scholarship dollars earned,” said Dr. Brad Bailey, public speaking instructor at the Jackson County Campus. “I was certainly not surprised that she won the speech award in the contest with 43 other girls. Morgan has already accomplished so much as a student and a person. She has unlimited potential. I cannot wait to watch and see what she continues to do in her academic, personal and professional endeavors.”
The oldest sibling in a family of five, Rich is used to hard work and getting things done. She not only maintains top grades in college, she is also a member of the Reflections Team, vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Pi Epsilon Chapter and executive president of the Student Government Association. She hosted Project Smile Drive, a campus project through which stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons are donated to the local sheriff’s department for officers to give to children they encounter who may have experienced some form of trauma.
“Receiving this scholarship will open many doors for me,” she said. “I know that to succeed in life, you have to be willing to work hard. I hope I have proven that I’m willing to roll up my sleeves, and I plan to continue doing the same.”
As a Pearson Scholar, Rich will receive $1,000 to complete an associate degree and $4,000 over two years to complete a bachelor’s degree. Pearson Scholars are also paired with a mentor and will receive complimentary access to Pearson textbooks and online codes to support them as they complete their degrees.