It's time to finish wrapping up this year's Rising Star of the West scholarship contest, our eleventh annual.
After starting with 20 contestants, we got down to our final four and announced the winners Tuesday.
They're splitting up a total of $7,500 in scholarship money from Black Hills FOX and Granite Automotive and we presented the checks Wednesday afternoon.
Homeschool senior Emma Smith of Rapid City was this year's big winner.
Emma comes away with a $4,000 scholarship.
Emma Smith says, "It definitely was so much fun and a great experience to really push yourself and get out. And I definitely encourage every single senior next year to do it and try it out."
Stevens senior Hunter Widvey finished second in this year's contest.
For that, Hunter gets a $2,000 scholarship.
Hunter Widvey says, "I loved the experience, meeting all these new people and the other contestants. I also liked the experience to get more public speaking in and talk about different topics. I really liked it and I'm going to let my friends know they should try it too."
Spearfish senior Jacksyn Bakeberg was not able to be with us Wednesday.
He finished third and gets a $1,000 scholarship.
And Black Hills Lutheran High School sophomore Ethan Fisk finished in fourth place this year, earning himself a $500 scholarship.
Ethan Fisk says, "It was an interesting one. I've not done anything like this before. I would say writing the scripts was one of the more difficult experiences I've had when it comes to writing scholarships. I've done essays before, but writing the scripts and trying to fit everything down into 60 seconds is a little bit more difficult. but it was fun coming into the studio and taping them."
We want to thank everyone who entered this year's contest.
We had a great group of students this year ... and we are sure we will get more of the same for the next school year.