2013-14 Some Scholarship Recipient Stories



• Savannah lost her father to homicide when she witnessed her brother who suffered from mental health issues kill him as she tried to stop the assault. Her family reached out to find help for him, but was turned back at many intersections. We know as a nation that when those with mental health problems go untreated that tragedies can and do occur. Savannah has shown her strength and courage to preserve and survive in the face of phenomenal tragedy.

• Madalin lost her mother to homicide at a young age. The family dentist stalked and killed her mother. She uses her mother’s life as her mainstay as everyday encouragement to live life to the fullest, and to be kind to everyone since she understands that "tomorrow" is never promised. She wants be be a psychologist to help children and adolescents who have experienced childhood trauma.

• Amber lost her father when he was robbed at the family’s new business that was just getting ready to open, leaving Amber, her 2 brothers and mother. Amber is a Sophomore and wants to go into medicine. A year after losing her father, the family was in a terrible auto accident and a few months later their house was robbed. In spite of her tragic circumstances she has maintained a positive gentle spirit and wants to help others.

• Meagan lost her16 year old brother, Anthony. The loss of her brother left a huge empty space in her life. Seeing her brother on life support motivated Meagan to choose nursing so she can help other patients and families to save their lives. Update - She is now a Junior and will graduate in 2015.

• Emily lost her brother who was just 16 and killed in the school parking lot. Emily is pursuing a career in criminal justice and her dream is to change lives in a positive way and seek justice for victims and their families and make a positive mark on the world.

Memorial to other young victims who tragically lost their life......

• Michael lost his brother when a roofer (gang member) working on his apartment building broke into his apartment and killed him while he slept involving a "hate crime". Michael has taken his tragedy and has reached out to help others and is excelling in his studies.

Joseph Tanner  *   Michele Herndon  *  Renee Olmblu Rondeau * Daughter of Ms. Sylvonia Banks



Peyton Tuthill Foundation Hearts of Hope Scholarship

Scholarship Questions and Answers 

Who is eligible?

  • For eligibility applicants must have completed one year of grief counseling through a counseling center, hospice, grief support group, faith-based program or other nationally recognized services. 
  • You must be a citizen of the United States
  • You must fully complete the scholarship application
  • You must be either a high school senior about to enter his or her first year of college or an undergraduate student enrolled in an Approved University. "Approved University" means a licensed public or private college or university, community college, junior college or acceptable vocational school located in the United States
  •  Your grade point average for the last twelve months of your education must be at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Any Applicant who has previously received a scholarship from the Foundation must have maintained at least a 2.5 grade point average for such period.
  • Someone in the Applicant’s Immediate Family must have been the victim of a homicide which occurred at least 18 months prior to the submission of the Application. The term "Immediate Family" means the Applicant’s spouse, father, mother, siblings or step father, step mother or step siblings.
  • You must have undergone  grief counseling and/or therapy to help you deal with your grief, loss, anger and/or post traumatic stress caused by the homicide.

What does the scholarship provide? 

  • The amount of the scholarship  will be spread equally over the Fall and Winter semester or Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter. Payment will be sent  directly to the school  once.  

How do I apply?

  •  Applicants must provide copy of their letter of acceptance by the community college or university or vocational school with application to be considered.

When do I apply and where do I send the applications?

  • All applications must be received by May15
  • Peyton Tuthill Foundation, Inc. Scholarship
    P.O. Box 3144
    Tallahassee, FL  32303

Who do I contact with questions?


Will references be verified and counseling confirmed?

  •  Yes.

 How and when will I be notified by the Foundation?

  • Scholarship recipients will be notified by July 1 of the award. Other applicants will be notified by email or if applicant does not have e-mail then notification will be by mail.  

 How many scholarships will be awarded annually?

  •  Announcements regarding the number of available scholarships will be posted on the web site at the beginning of each year.  It is the goal of the Foundation to award as many scholarships as possible to help survivors rebuild their lives and achieve their dreams.

2008-2012 Scholarship Recipients

~~Jessica of Tallahassee, whose mother was killed; the crime remains unsolved. Jessica is an only child and sole survivor. Through assistance and guidance from FSU Victim Advocate, Melissa Ashton, Jessica has been connected with community resources. Update- Jessica graduated and is now employed in the banking industry.

o Her scholarship is given in memory of, Pat Reed who was killed on March 23, 1998, by a young man who she had agreed to try and help with his addiction. Her son Christopher Reed was 6 years old and was also killed. Pat’s mother, Agnes Fury believes that the combination of rage from an early age and crack cocaine contributed to this tragedy. Agnes is committed to trying to make a difference in the lives of very young men and boys, as well as incarcerated men in an attempt to reduce the level of violence that changes so many lives.

• Ashley from Pennsylvania sadly lost her brother 2 years ago who was shot in gang cross fire of a gang he had left and her family has struggled to recover ever since. She is attending school in Virginia. Ashley mentors young girls step team who are growing up in the inner city with no positive role models.  She hopes to be a positive influence on them.  Ms. Tuthill I am eternally grateful, forever in your debt, how can I ever repay you?" Update - Ashley has graduated.
o Ashley’s scholarship is given in memory of Tammy Shields of Fort Walton Beach who tragically lost her life on June 26, 2011. Tammy loved to travel and in her 34 brief years visited Korea, Germany, Holland, France, England, the Caribbean and New York.

• Ms. Alexandra  of California, who lost her father, Richard, to workplace violence, is attending University of the Pacific. Alexandra is a sophomore this year and it is the second year she has received the scholarship. Alexandra quilts and has donated one of her quilts for the next Foundation Charity Event.  Update- Alexandra graduated in 2013 and now has a job in the environmental industry and continues to support the Foundation by donating her crafts for the fundraisers.
o Her scholarship is given in memory Mr. Fred Parker, Tallahassee attorney, who was known for his love of music and an accomplished pianist, was also a civic leader, his activities included serving two terms as president of the LeMoyne Art Foundation and serving on the board of the Tallahassee Symphony. Mr. Parker’s life was taken on March 8, 2004. His wife Edna has been involved with the Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition Victim’s Right Week tribute.

•  Taryn of Arkansas whose sister, Megan, was abducted at age 6 in 1995. Taryn will be attending a university in Arkansas.
o Taryn’s scholarship is given in memory of my friend Elise Geise who was abducted in Atlanta, Georgia in 1989 a week before her wedding.

•  Megan of New Mexico, who lost her brother, Anthony, will be attending school in New Mexico.
o Megan’s scholarship is given in memory of, Dr. Paul S. Jarrett, M.D., who was killed on July 16, 2003 in Miami. Aleta Cortinas, his daughter, is a nurse and lives in Tallahassee. She is an active member of the Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition who helps local crime victims.

•  When Ryenne was 10 years old, she lost her brother, Jami, to homicide on Mother’s Day in 2003.  She has worked to find life again and sees life as an opportunity to become someone and change something about one’s self. She will be attending College for Arts & Design.
o Ryenne’s scholarship is given in memory of Mr. Gregg A. Jarrett, R.N., who was killed July 16, 2003 in Miami, FL. Aleta Cortinas, sister of Gregg Jarrett, who is a nurse and lives in Tallahassee, attended the 2011 POMC conference to become more involved in understanding sibling grief.

•  Amber  of Texas lost her father last year when he was robbed at the family’s new business that was just getting ready to open, leaving Amber, her 2 brothers and mother.  A year after losing her father, the  family was in a terrible auto accident and a few months later their house was robbed.  In spite of her tragic circumstances she has maintained a positive gentle spirit and wants to help others.
o Amber’s scholarship is given in memory of the brother of Mr. Dan Levey, Director of the Office of Victims of Crime for the Arizona Attorney General Office, His brother, Howard, was murdered in Phoenix by assailants as he was waiting for his friends to show up for their weekly basketball game.

• Eliseo goes to school in California. His family owned a neighborhood grocery in the Bronx and at the age of 4 his father was robbed and murdered outside the family grocery store and eventually abandoned by his mother as she struggled to survive.
o "The scholarship has helped me stabilize my living situation, be consistent with my grades and serve as the AmeriCorps Service Club President.

• Lauren lives in Ohio and her young life drastically changed on Feb. 3rd at bedtime, when the family received a call from the Phoenix police to say her father had been murdered as he was carjacked.  He was starting a new job as international booking director for the Harlem Globetrotters.

o This was the saddest day in my life and this doesn't happen in real life to good people like my Dad.  Something inside all of us was killed.  One of Lauren's favorite quotes is from Mother Theresa, "Death is not the most tragic loss in life.  The most tragic loss is what dies inside you while you are still alive."

• Alexandra from California woke up as usual to get ready for school, but later that day she was removed from class to be told by the vice principal and her mother that her father killed at work by and angry ex-employee.

o "I have had to accept his absence would affect the rest of my life and he would not walk me down to the alter to give me a way."

• Samantha from Pennsylvania attends school in Maryland and became a co-victim when she lost her mother in a domestic violence tragedy.  "My mom was the strongest woman I've ever met. She taught me a lot of life, especially the importance of education since she never went to college and led her to depend on my step-father who abused her.  She finally saved enough money to leave, but he killed her the night before and may live has never been the same without her love and encouragement every day."

o "Receiving this scholarship helps me reach my goal to have a college education to make my mom proud of me without it the financial reality is an obstacle."
"I love little kids and want to inspire them the same way my mom inspired me and allowed me to believe in myself."

• Dyllan from Connecticut lost his mother to domestic violence.  He lost a father and a mother.  His mother was in counseling and getting strong enough to leave the abuse and make a better life for them. Dyllan made a video called "End the Violence". Through his video he was able to reach out to others and explain the grief counseling could help cope with the pain.  He now reaches out to help other children.
Each of the young victims knows the pain of losing their family to violent crime.  They are a light for others as they face their grief by reaching and mentor other young people.

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