Mclouth Christi Adcox's grades are good, but it's her experiences outside the classroom that have earned her a $5,000 scholarship.
Adcox, a McLouth High School senior, has received one of 103 scholarships awarded by the Horatio Alger Assn. of Alexandria, Va., the school announced Wednesday.
MHS was one of only two Kansas schools selected by the organization to submit entries for the scholarship, which were awarded to one student in each school.
"We select schools that are really concerned about the welfare of the student -- not just getting them out the door after graduation," said David Greco, director of program services for the organization.
Adcox, 17, submitted an application last year. On it, she described the heart disorders she suffered as an infant, her parents' divorce and a 1995 automobile accident that nearly killed her brother.
She wrote that although she had little money for college, she hoped to study after high school.
"I either want to be a secondary teacher or a medical technologist," she said. "I plan to get my associate's degree at Kansas City Community college and my bachelor's and master's at Kansas State."
Thanks to the $5,000 scholarship, Adcox plans to enroll in college next fall. While finishing high school, she is working as a personal care assistant at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Adcox said she was "surprised and happy" about the scholarship, which she believes was awarded more because of her personal background than her grades.
"I'm ranked fifth in my class, but I honestly don't think that had anything to do with it," she said.
Adcox plans to pick up her scholarship at the Alger association's 50th anniversary celebration April 23 to April 27 in Washington, D.C.
McLouth seniors Melinda Chalfant and Joe Morrison were finalists for the scholarship. The Horatio Alger Assn. is named after the 19th century American author remembered for the "rags-to-riches" theme of his most popular books.