When Webster Groves High School senior Cari Hill approached her counselor last spring, she feared that she did have the money to attend college.
Cari's dad, Richard Hill is serving a 20-year prison sentence for sexually abusing her when she was only 11 years old, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Cari, who holds the prestigious title of Miss Webster Groves, has a younger brother with Down syndrome, and her mother works and cares for Cari's grandmother.
See previous story: Webster Groves Teen Shares Experience of Overcoming Sexual Abuse
That's when Cari's counselor went to work and learned about Ava's Grace Scholarship Foundation, a new foundation offering scholarships for teens with parents in prison.
Cari was one of two recipients of the first $5,000 award at a ceremony earlier this month, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The other recipient, McKenzie Lockett, 18, is from Princeton, MO. Her mother is incarcerated on drug charges.
In total, Cari will receive $20,000 from the foundation over four years to attend college. She plans to attend William College in Liberty, MO, where she will double major in political science and psychology and minor in Spanish.
She also told Patch she will be participating in the college's pre-law program.
For more information on Ava's Grace Scholrship Foundation, visit its website.