ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- The Rock Island Arsenal Welcome Club honored college-bound students with scholarships during a luncheon here on May 15.

"A total of $20,000 was awarded to 18 students scheduled to attend classes this fall," said Beth Welker RIA Welcome Club Scholarship Committee chairwoman.

For those who received scholarships, 11 are graduating from high school this spring and seven are currently attending college, she said, at the Arsenal Golf Club.

Scholarships were in the amounts of $1,000 or $1,250.

Brig. Gen. Duane Gamble, deputy commanding general, Army Sustainment Command, presented the students with certificates that highlighted their selection for the merit awards.

"This is a great day for the Welcome Club and our nation's youth," said Gamble. "You are our future leaders and I am humbled to be here with you."

"I am honored to be selected for this award," said Karin Carlson, a nursing student at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. "College is very expensive and this will help me reach my dream of helping those in need."

Students receiving RIA Welcome Club scholarships include: Karin Carlson, Alex Campbell, Jori Colarusso, Jacob Coyne, Alex Donovan, Kelsey Ethington, Kate Fennelly, Mileah Gumpert, Miranda Gumpert, Taylor Horwath, Marina Johnson, Tiffany Merkel, Lindsey Miner, Michael Ryan, Alexis Slocum, Jordan Starkey, Maddi Theisen and Erin Toohey.

The purpose of the RIAWC is to develop and foster a spirit of Quad Cities Area community responsibility at RIA by providing opportunities for social, cultural and creative pursuits and to support worthwhile service and community projects, its Google website stated.

A fundamental purpose of the RIAWC is to generate funds to support service members and their families, government employees, and other charitable endeavors on the island and within the Quad-Cities metropolitan areas.