MORA Announces 2023-2024 Scholarship Winners

March 1, 2024

Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) is pleased to announce its 2023-2024 scholarship winners.

MORA annually presents these scholarships to graduating Mississippi seniors to continue their education after high school. These include 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 three $1,000 scholarships: the Annie Lucious Gift of Life Scholarship, the Chuck Stinson Memorial Scholarship, in memory of our colleague and everyone’s friend, Chuck, and the Dr. Shirley Schlessinger Scholarship, as well as two $500 scholarships.

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

The Walker Wilbanks Memorial Scholarship, however, 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.

“We received so many amazing student essays,” said Trisha Byrd, MORA’s Director of Community Services and Relations. “Knowing that our daily efforts to share about donation is reaching these young adults and learning about the specific ways that families in our state are touched by the gift of life from their donor heroes is a pretty special opportunity.” 

The winners of the 2023-2024 scholarships are:

$5,000 Allie Carruth Memorial Scholarship Winner:  Tavi Layne Johnson of Pillow Academy

$2,265 Walker Wilbanks Memorial Scholarship Winner:  Walker Bo Anderson of Parklane Academy

$1,000 Matthew Gaskin Memorial Scholarship Winner: Trace L. Tingle of Resurrection Catholic High

$1,000 Annie Lucious Gift of Life Scholarship Winner:  Mason Hubbard of Gautier High School

$1,000 Chuck Stinson Memorial Scholarship Winner:  Emma Claire Thompson of Mooreville High School

$1,000 Dr. Shirley Schlessinger Scholarship Winner:  Baileigh Grisham of McLaurin High School

$500 MORA Scholarship Winner:  Kirysten Samara Brown of William B. Murrah High School

$500 MORA Scholarship Winner:  Jayce Gunn of Enterprise High School

Congratulations to these students, and thank you to everyone who applied!