SMH SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE: Slidell Memorial Hospital is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2014-15 school year for local students enrolled in a medical program at an accredited university or college. Five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded.

To qualify, applicants or their parents/guardians must be a resident of St. Tammany Parish. Students must be halfway through their college curriculum, have a grade-point average of 2.5 or better and have unmet financial needs.

Completed applications must be postmarked by July 5. Application packets can be downloaded from www.slidellmemorial.org. Click on the News tab.

This project is funded by the SMH volunteers who raise funds from book, jewelry and bake sales throughout the year. Call Volunteer Coordinator Laurie Manley at (985) 280-8531 for additional information.

ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS: Emily Buddy, of Covington, and KayCei Moton-Melancon, of New Orleans, were among the winners in the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest sponsored by Regions Bank. To enter, eligible high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors submitted an essay about a black person who inspired them.

Buddy, a student at St. Scholastica Academy, wrote about Maya Angelou.

Moton-Melancon, a student at Spelman College, wrote about Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. To see the award-winning essays and to learn more about the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest, visit www.regions.com/ridingforward. Information about the 2015 contest will be available early next year.