Kindergartners don’t typically think about college or paying for it.
Neither do sixth graders, for that matter.
But a group of students at Mossyrock Elementary have been thinking about higher education - and preparing to pay for it - for five years now.
“I’ve had dreams about it,” said 11-year-old Campbell Senter.
She’s one of 18 Mossyrock students who in 2012 won a contest from Lewis County coal-fired power plant TransAlta.
More than 40 kindergarten classes competed for the scholarships, which established trust funds for each student.
Mossyrock’s class won the competition after planting dozens of trees at a state park. Each student received a $2,500 scholarship that will grow in a trust fund.
They can access the funds after they graduate in 2024, and will be able to use the money to pay for college or trade schools.
“I always wanted to go to college and see what it’s like,” said Senter. “Now with the money I can do that.”
According to the school district, approximately 60 percent of Mossyrock’s High School graduates went on to college last year.