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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

LWHS Graduating Senior Receives $1,000 for Medical Scholarship from Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation


by James Coulter

LWHS Graduating Senior Receives $1,000 for Medical Scholarship from Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation

by James Coulter

Taylor Boyte always wanted to go into the medical field. She could not imagine a future career in anything else. She has a heart for helping other people, and she wants to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to help others, especially those suffering from cardiac disease.

“It is very important to understand the meaning of cardiac health,” she wrote in an essay. “I am passionate about helping people with cardiac disease because it’s an extremely important part of our lives. Our health is super important and I will do anything to help people in need with this disease.”

As someone seeking a career as a medical professional, she has the utmost respect for people working in the medical field, especially first responders. What they do for a living allows other people to continue living–quite literally, she wrote.

“I believe first responders are important because they help/save a lot of people in our communities,” she wrote in another essay. “Without first responders, so many lives would be lost, unfortunately. Everyone should be grateful to have them as people in our community to save our lives.”

Her essay answers allowed her to receive a $1,000 scholarship granted to her from the Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, a local non-profit organization dedicated to assisting first responders and EMTs and to installing defibrillators throughout the county.

Taylor received her scholarship at the Senior Scholarship Ceremony at Lake Wales High School (LWHS) on Monday morning. She was one of several dozen LWHS graduating seniors to be presented scholarships at the ceremony, hosted by the Polk Education Foundation & Business Partnership, Inc.

Chance Cook, LWHS Assistant Principal IB & Operations, commended the students during his opening remarks for being able to graduate and to receive scholarships that, in his own words, “will no doubt assist them as they go on to the next chapter of their academic careers.”

“To those of you who are receiving a scholarship today, it is my hope that you will continue to pursue education as you have here at Lake Wales High School,” Cook said. “It is no accident you are being acknowledged today. The foundation that has been laid for your education is not meant to be the end. Rather, it is meant to be the face for a lifelong love of learning that will change your lives and the lives of those around us.”

Melanie Brown Culpepper, the founder of Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, was one of several scholarship presenters to confer their respective scholarships to the receiving students. Melanie chose Taylor specifically because of her vocal support for EMTs and concern for cardiac health.

“Reading her essay, I really liked her remarks about helping other people, and I am really honored to be doing this,” she said.

Melanie started her foundation two years ago following the tragic passing of her late fiancée, Michael Culpepper, who passed away after suffering cardiac arrest. Since then, she has raised proceeds to donate nearly a dozen AEDs across Polk County and to confer scholarships to medical and EMT students for the past two years.

“I owe my success to the community for coming and supporting me,” she explained. “Without them, Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation could not make this happen. I could not make this happen. That is why it is very important to sponsors and donate and show up to all the events for CCF so we can get AEDs out and give out these scholarships to help save someone’s life as it could be one of our loved ones or ourselves that we could be saving. Because we all matter and our loved ones matter. and it could be our loved ones. That is why I do this.”

Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation will be conferring two more scholarships to graduating seniors at Bartow High School. She also plans on donating an AED to Victory Ridge Academy. To learn more about her foundation, visit: https://honoringculpepper.com/

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Staff Reporter

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