STARR Scholarship changing lives

CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) Every year the STARR Scholarship grants a full ride to high school students in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and here in Wyoming.

"The scholarship is what people would call a full ride scholarship but it is actually a little bit more than that it pays for room, board and tuition, and there is also a living stipend that goes along with the room and board tuition and freshman also get a technology stipend," said Assistant Director of Scholarships at Michigan State Ben Brown.

The scholarship was started in the late 90's by two anonymous donors to help Wyoming kids come to Michigan State.

"When it first started, the foundation was set up to award two students the award, since then our donors have continued to contribute to the award, this year I think we made eight offers so we will bring in eight Wyoming students and it has been pretty consistent over the last couple years that eight students will get a full ride to Michigan State," said Brown.

Jonathon Finch is from Wyoming who won the award in 2016 and is finishing up his last semester at MSU.

"What I was looking for was a way to kind of get out of the scope of Wyoming, to kind of explore what else the rest of what our country has to offer and let's just say those wishes did come true," said Finch.

He was the first Glenrock student to be granted the award.

"He comes in with his stuff on, his Michigan State hat, Michigan State shirt and he goes mom I got the STARR, I was like oh my gosh, so you know I cried and we hugged and so then I said we have to surprise your dad and your brother," said Johnathon's mom Tammy Finch. "We were just visiting and I am recording and Johnathon walks out of the hall way and he does one of these you know with his shirt and goes okay I just want to tell you guys I got the STARR and it was, it was so fabulous it was just, it was so wonderful," said Tammy Finch.

"The scholarship really is life changing I have to admit, to not have to worry about finances when you are in school just takes that extra level off stress off your mind and not having to worry about student loans, or how to pay for an expensive college really just allows you to focus on your studies and do what you came to school to do," said Johnathon Finch.

"It just opened up so many opportunities for Jonathon with those connections, and of course I mean his own doing, but it just has opened up so many opportunities for him and we really look forward to seeing what he is going to do, and we aren't sure what he is going to do and we are just excited," said Tammy Finch.

For more information on the STARR Scholarship, you can contact Ben Brown at