The final chapter of the 2010 Nueces County Junior Livestock show came to a close at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds last week, as 26 students were awarded $88,000 in scholarships from the event.

Jason Floyd, the President of the NCJLS Association Board of Directors, said the May 4 ceremony was the culmination of a lot of hard work by the students and the association.

"I've been involved for many years in the livestock show, and I'm just glad to see how well these kids are doing, and the willingness of kids nowadays to go to school and get an education, and hopefully give back to their community," Floyd said.

A panel of judges that included Rep. Todd Hunter, Mike McKenzie, Pct. 1 Commissioner Mike Pusley and Harvey Buehring conducted the interviews of the students.

Judging criteria included stock show participation; FFA, FCCLA and 4-H club participation; academic achievement; college exams and the interviews.

This year, nine students received four-year scholarships, five received three-year scholarships, seven received two-year scholarships and five received one-year scholarships.

In addition, five students received scholarships from the Homemaking Division.

Over the past 20 years, the NCJLS has awarded $763,300 in scholarships to local graduates.

Samantha Greenwood, a Banquete High School senior who is a member of Bluntzer 4-H, was the second overall winner. She plans to attend Texas Tech University to major in animal science in the fall.

She said her years of involvement with the livestock show have prepared her for the next step in her education.

"It's given me more speaking skills," Greenwood said. "It's made me more confident."

Julie Kircher, a Tuloso-Midway senior who is a member of the C&T 4-H, was the top scholarship winner. She received a four-year scholarship of $9,000, and plans to attend Texas A&M University- College Station to study Agricultural Leadership.

"I think this (application) was by far my most favorite one to fill out, because the livestock show has been such a big part of my life," Kircher said. "I was very pleased to hear that all my hard work over the years - and I can even say my parents' and grandparents' hard work, since we've been doing this forever - it's all paid off."