MORA Announces 2022-2023 Scholarship Winners

February 20, 2023

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) is excited to present three memorial scholarships from donated funds raised by donor families in memory of their loved one who gave the Gift of Life: the Allie Carruth Memorial Scholarship ($5,000), the Walker Wilbanks Memorial Scholarship ($2,265), and the Matthew Gaskin Memorial Scholarship ($1,000). MORA is also giving two $1,000 scholarships: the Annie Lucious Gift of Life Scholarship and the Dr. Shirley Schlessinger Scholarship, named after MORA’s long-time medical director, as well as three $500 scholarships. 

Students were asked to submit a 300- to 750-word essay on one of the following topics: how they or their family have been affected by donation and/or transplantation, why they are a registered donor or want to become registered, or the importance of encouraging others to be organ, eye, and tissue donors. 

However, the Walker Wilbanks Memorial Scholarship was based solely on a one-page letter written by an administrator, faculty, or staff member on behalf of the applicant describing how he or she exhibits exemplary character traits such as integrity, accountability, respect, and responsibility. 

Said Trisha Byrd, MORA’s Director of Community Services and Relations, “It’s a very moving experience to read about how these young lives have already been touched by donation. Our staff spends much of its time in high schools across Mississippi educating students on this topic. Having these youth ambassadors for our cause is a powerful tool in our mission to save and improve lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation.”

The winners of the 2022-2023 scholarships are:

  • $5000 Allie Carruth Memorial Scholarship – Riley Hanson – Pascagoula High School
  • $2265 Walker Wilbanks Memorial Scholarship – David Lane Landrum – West Jones High School
  • $1000 Annie Lucious Gift of Life Scholarship – Marley Grace Channell – Wesson Attendance Center
  • $1000 Matthew Gaskin Memorial Scholarship – Jackson Redmond – Starkville Academy
  • $1000 Dr. Shirley Schlessinger Scholarship – Carter Kittle – Pillow Academy
  • $500 MORA Scholarship – Emerson Rhinewalt – Jackson Preparatory School
  • $500 MORA Scholarship – Dawson Muenzenmay – Northwest Rankin High School
  • $500 MORA Scholarship – Thomas Phillips – Northwest Rankin High School

At present, approximately 1,300 Mississippians and 100,000+ Americans need a lifesaving transplant. A new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 9 minutes and an average of 17 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or improve the lives of 75 recipients or more. Register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor at