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WKCTC Students Receive MERR Scholarship

West Kentucky Community and Technical College student Kayla Yarbro wants to follow in her parents footsteps. I want to become a teacher because I feel God wants me to work with children and its a family tradition - both my mom and dad are teachers, the Hickman County resident said.

Yarbro was one of three WKCTC students recently awarded the 2011 Minority Educator Recruitment and Retention Scholarship (MERR). The scholarship is awarded annually by the Kentucky Department of Education, Division of Educator Quality and Diversity. This scholarship will be a tremendous help toward getting my degree and working to become the best teacher I can be, said Yarbro. The other recipients were Raiona Henderson and Christopher Nance, both of McCracken County.

The MERR Scholarship was authorized in 1992 by the Kentucky General Assembly to address the critical shortage of minority teachers, especially in areas of mathematics and science in Kentucky. The scholarship, a competitive and renewable award, provides financial assistance up to four semesters with a maximum yearly award of $2,000 ($1,000 per semester) for students enrolled in teacher education programs in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

WKCTC Diversity Director Jipaum Askew-Robinson said when the McCracken County Career Endowment (MCCCE) informed the college of the opportunity to provide this scholarship to WKCTC students, the administration immediately recognized it would provide students with the financial support they need to have a more successful college experience. The MERR scholarship is important to our students because it allows them to worry less about money and concentrate more on their studies, said Robinson.

Henderson, who wants to teach high school math, said she is excited about her future in education. I love being around kids, she said. My goal as a teacher is to help students reach their goals.

For more information about the MERR scholarship program, contact Askew-Robinson at (270) 534-3420 or email her at