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The Bothwell Regional Health Center Foundation has awarded its Medical Careers Scholarship to three deserving students Luis Estrada and Jayce Simoncic, both of Sedalia and Rileigh Grunden of Cole Camp. All three graduated in May 2016.


Estrada, a Smith-Cotton High School graduate, plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy from Missouri State University in Springfield. In his application essay, Estrada related some of the struggles of his childhood and noted that he will be the first person in his family to attend college.

“This motivated me,” he wrote. “I knew education was the only option to go far.”

Estrada, a member of the Smith-Cotton Math Team and National Honor Society, served as a company commander the JROTC Tiger Battalion and expressed gratitude for the support and encouragement he has received from JROTC.


Simoncic, also a graduate of Smith Cotton High School, plans to follow his childhood dream of entering the medical field as a doctor.

In his essay, Simoncic shared that he spent in seventh birthday as a patient at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.  

“I was fascinated with how the medical staff functioned as a team to ensure my recovery,” he wrote. “This is when I realized I wanted to be a doctor.”

Simoncic, who played varsity football and baseball in high school, was a member of National Honor Society, Math Club and Student Council. Both Estrada and Simoncic were part of Bothwell Regional Health Center’s Medical Explorers program for high school juniors and seniors considering a career in health care.

Grunden graduated from Cole Camp High School and said she knew at a young age that she wanted to be an emergency room nurse.

“I want to be the first smile you see when you come off the ambulance. I want to be that first helping hand,” she wrote in her essay.

Grunden plans to study nursing at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. In high school, she was an honor student, played basketball and was a member of Future Farmers of America and Future Business Leaders of America. 

Each of the students will receive a $500 scholarship from the Bothwell Foundation with an additional $500 in matching funds from the Health Services Group Foundation.

The Bothwell Foundation was formed in 2005 in an effort to develop private resources to improve health-care services in the area. It is overseen by a board of directors comprised of community leaders. 


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