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Elize Aunahn Memorial Brainfuse Scholarship 2021 Winners

The Elize Aunahn Memorial Brainfuse Scholarship is a highly selective scholarship for outstanding students from low-income households.  Scholarship awards are issued to high school juniors and seniors seeking to attend technical training programs, community colleges, or four-year bachelor’s programs.  Scholarship funds are disbursed directly to the institutions to be attended by recipients.

Elize Aunahn, Vice President of Operations and Academics with Brainfuse for approximately twenty years, passed away on June 16, 2020. To honor her legacy and commitment to enhancing educational opportunities for deserving students, Brainfuse has established a scholarship fund in her name.  The award is designed for low-income students who otherwise might be missed by traditional scholarship criteria.  Qualifying candidates must have (a) a tireless work ethic as demonstrated through school, employment, volunteer contributions, and extracurricular activities; (b) a successful academic record; (c) strong leadership ability (as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular activities, and other contributions); (d) exceptional personal success skills (emotional maturity, motivation, and perseverance); and (e) need for financial assistance.

The Elize Aunahn Memorial Brainfuse Scholarship was established to award scholarships of $4,000 each to two deserving students, with the intent of helping them to realize their maximum potential.  In this inaugural year of the scholarship program, Brainfuse received an overwhelming number of applications for extremely qualified, deserving students.  To assist as many students as possible, Brainfuse has selected three scholarship winners and three scholarship finalist alternates, as well as five additional Brainfuse Scholarship Finalists.  The three first prize scholarship recipients each will receive $4,000 scholarships.  Scholarship alternates will receive awards of $500, while Brainfuse Scholarship Finalists each will receive $250.  The following is a profile of the three winners of the 2021 scholarship awards:

The first recipient of the Brainfuse Elize Aunahn Memorial Scholarship, Bailey Payne, represents an uncommon combination of determination, perseverance, academic achievement, leadership ability, volunteer contributions, and personal success. Ms. Payne grew up in foster care with no control over most parts of her life.  Despite being moved from foster home to group home to an abusive adoptive family and back to foster care, she never gave up.  Our first recipient, Ms. Payne will graduate this Spring with a high school diploma and an Associate in Science degree.  In high school, she attained a 4.6 GPA and is a member of BETA and the National Honor Society.  Additionally, Ms. Payne has worked part-time for CVS and the YMCA and has amassed more than 100 volunteer hours with various organizations including The Salvation Army, adult daycare centers, religious institutions, health care organizations, and food providers for the underprivileged.  This highly impressive candidate has twice been nominated for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence and was selected for the National Youth Leadership Forum of Medicine.  A first-generation college student, Ms. Payne plans to work in the field of Forensics, with a specialization in support for sexual assault victims, to provide the support and advocacy that she so desperately longed for during her childhood.

Yailine Moreno, the second winner of the Brainfuse Elize Aunahn Memorial Scholarship, has achieved great success despite facing countless obstacles throughout life.  Ms. Moreno had to balance the demands of supporting herself financially, while participating in many extracurricular activities and excelling in schoolwork.  Our second scholarship winner was forced to leave a dysfunctional home life.  Ms. Moreno works almost every day and manages to balance school, HOSA involvement, CNA rotations, phlebotomy classes, and Youth Ministry involvement. With an interest in nursing, Ms. Moreno hopes to help underserved populations who lack access to proper medical care.

The third recipient of the Brainfuse Elize Aunahn Memorial Scholarship demonstrates serious financial need, a strong work ethic, valuable work experience, significant volunteer and community activities, extracurricular involvement, and outstanding personal characteristics.  With an Expected Family Contribution of $0, this student will be 100% responsible for funding the entirety of his/her college education.  This winner emigrated to the United States in 2015 with no money and no knowledge of English.  Through hard work, he/she learned English and advanced to the most rigorous Advanced Placement classes offered in high school – earning a straight-A average.  This recipient served as a tutor for a struggling middle school student, assisted in his/her local library, volunteered in a local hospital, and supported CERT, first aid training, and healthcare workshops.  Additionally, this winner is involved in the National Honor Society, the Key Club, and the Interact Club, and participated in Exchange for Change, a program bringing together diverse urban and rural students with the goals of increasing personal leadership skills, providing opportunities to learn about and value diversity, and exploring the strengths and challenges facing urban and rural individuals.

Brainfuse, one of the nation’s leading online tutoring providers, has been serving a diversified client base of libraries, school districts, and colleges/universities for over 20 years. With Brainfuse, users receive real-time tutoring from instructors via our proprietary online classroom. Brainfuse serves hundreds of library systems throughout the country including the New York Public Library, the LA County Library, the California State Library, the New Jersey State Library, and North America’s largest homework help program through the Chicago Public Library. For more information regarding the services of Brainfuse, please contact Brainfuse at [email protected].