Two Lawrence County Career Technical Center students were recognized and awarded this week for their success in separate competitive events.

Campbell Joiner received a $1,000 scholarship from NextGen Personal Finance for her Payback Challenge essay submission, and Ally Naylor was named the second-place winner in the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) State Championship Qualifier, LCCTC Work-Based Learning Coordinator Sonia Burden said.

Campbell was one of 44 other students recognized for the Honorable Mention Award scholarship in the national NextGen contest. Two students from New Jersey and Minnesota were named National Grand Prize winners, according to contest organizers. 

More than 210,000 students in the United States attempted the Payback challenge, but only 1,000 nominations were accepted, according to the NGPF contest site. Each student nominated for the NGPF contest participated in the Payback college simulation game and had the option to submit an essay or video detailing how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the student’s decisions for college.

Campbell was the only participant in the state awarded in the contest.

Naylor, who placed second in the Microsoft championship qualifier, will now compete with five other students in Alabama to compete in the MOS National Championship. 

Students who win at the MOS National will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the 2021 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, according to contest organizers. 

The Certiport MOS U.S. Championship is a national competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications. The students with the highest exam scores and lowest exam taking times will be invited to represent their state and compete at the National Championship, organizers said.

Students are provided opportunities to achieve Microsoft certifications through the business program at Lawrence County Career Technical Center, said Burden. She congratulates both students for their success in the competitions. 

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