USF Pay it Forward Scholarship finalist Carly Turner

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In less than two weeks the University of Saint Francis and WANE 15 will announce the winner of the school’s Pay it Forward Scholarship. It’s a $135 thousand dollar award that’s given every year to incoming students who are committed to service and helping others. Carly Turner is one of the finalists.

“I’m in the student council and National Honor Society so I’ve done lots of volunteer hours,” said Turner. “We help families at Thanksgiving and we have a Christmas family too. We get two relatively small families and we go out and buy a big Thanksgiving meal for them and deliver it.”

Turner enjoys the volunteer work she shares with her classmates at East Noble High School. But a project of a more personal nature is what she wrote about in the essay she submitted for the Pay it Forward Scholarship at the University of Saint Francis.

“With COVID and everything my family had a very personal experience with it,” she said. “My mom actually got it back in April. We quarantined her back in her room. My dad was on the road semi driving. We got some packages anonymously on the front porch and it felt really good to get that help. So after we were in the clear, since I’m a healthy young teenager, I decided to use some of the money I saved up to help some people in my neighborhood. I did little errands for them. I had lots of elders ask me to go get their prescriptions.”

Turner plans to continue helping others when she attends the University of Saint Francis, whether she wins the full scholarship or not. “I’ll be majoring in pre-dental biology. I ‘m going to further that and become an orthodontist.”

To help Turner and other students, WANE 15 is again proud to partner with the University of Saint Francis on its Pay it Forward Scholarship program. The top prize is a full four year $135 thousand dollar award. The two finalists who don’t win it will be offered half tuition scholarships.

“Knowing that I’m giving back to other people in need and helping them makes me feel good,” said Turner. “Not only about myself but in knowing I’m helping other people that need it the most.”

“Some people may just go through their day having a bad day but if just one person can help another, give something to them, just something little, it doesn’t have to be big, that can make them have a better day and put a smile on their face.”

The winner of the Pay it Forward Scholarship from the University of Saint Francis will be announced in mid-December.

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