Two Lakeland residents, both students at Mississippi State University, have been awarded scholarships from the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation (NLEAFCF).
Taylor Selby, a junior, was awarded a $3,000 scholarship; her sister, Payton, a freshman, received a $1,000 scholarship. Taylor is majoring in biomedical engineering and Payton, marketing.
Their mother, Jessica Maxwell, and stepfather, Judson Maxwell, live in Lakeland.
Their father, George Selby, was killed in 2002 in the line of duty during the execution of a narcotics search warrant while working for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Both graduated from Harding Academy.
The young women were recognized for their exceptional leadership, community service and scholastic achievement. They were among 32 students from across the country to receive the award. The recipients are all children of a law enforcement officer or firefighter who was killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty.
“First responders have given so much to defend and protect us. How better to honor their commitment to all of us than to ensure that their children achieve their full potential. Helping to better pay for their college and complete their higher education is the least we can do to honor these law enforcement and firefighters’ families,” said NLEAFCF President and Founder Al Kahn.
“Taylor and Payton have both demonstrated leadership amongst their peers and exceptional scholastic achievements, and both have contributed time and energy to community service. We are proud to be a part of helping the Selby sisters achieve their academic goals.”
Taylor is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, where she worked on the special events committee and volunteered to stage philanthropy events for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and a community Halloween party. She is also a member of the Mechanical Engineering Ladies Organization where she visits local schools to speak about STEM education, and serves as a team leader in her mechanical engineering class, designing a mat game manual for a 4-H robotics competition
Following graduation, Taylor hopes to pursue a position in the biomedical field. “College is hard to pay for no matter how hard you work,” says Taylor. “The NLEAFCF scholarship does a world of a difference for me by allowing me go to a college that I have fallen so in love with.”
Payton is a member of various clubs, including Bible Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Art Club, Spanish Club, and Chemistry Club. She received a Gold Key Award for photography and had her work published in Aerie International Magazine. Since arriving at MSU, she has joined Phi Mu Fraternity and become a team leader who raises money through Dance Marathon for Le Bonheur. She has her own team of dancers and sets specific goals to meet. She said, “It is an honor to receive an award from such an important organization. I am passionate about my education, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future.”