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Helping Communities

Students Awarded Inaugural WoodmenLife Scholarships

Dylan Carpenter, $25,000 Scholarship winner

In its inaugural year, the WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship Program recognized hundreds of deserving young members across the country for their academic and community achievements.

Overall, 621 scholarships were awarded, for a total payout of $365,000. All of the scholarship recipients submitted applications highlighting their high school grades, activities and volunteerism, in addition to an essay on patriotism.

“Youth have always played an important role in our organization,” said WoodmenLife President & CEO Patrick Dees. “We were honored to present scholarships to these deserving members so they can further their education and pursue future opportunities.”

Helping Others is in His Heart

Dylan Carpenter, a member from Carthage, MS, was the recipient of this year’s $25,000 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship. The son of Brian and Tommie Kaye Carpenter, Dylan has led and raised money for many service projects in his community, including a program that inspires youth to host activities at nursing homes. “I have been able to collect more than $80,000 in donations to make the residents’ time in the nursing homes the best possible,” he said. “Service has transformed me into a teenager with vision and aspiration, and I have been able to empower others through a servant’s heart.”

Currently starting his freshman year at the University of Mississippi, Dylan plans to major in biology, with an emphasis in pre-med, to pursue his goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist. “My dream is to be able to use my medical knowledge to help people triumph over what at one time seemed invincible,” he said. “I know I’m at the University of Mississippi for a purpose and this scholarship helped me take that leap of faith out of ‘my plan’ and into ‘God’s plan.’”

Additional Scholarship Recipients

Andrew Crowell, son of Marsha and Joseph Crowell from Cordova, TN, was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. Active in his community, Andrew volunteers monthly at a local mission and nursing homes, and is president of his school’s cultural exchange program. Music has also always been a key part of Andrew’s life, and he plans to attend the University of Tennessee and major in music education so he can share his love for music with his future students.

Mackenzie Staples, daughter of James and Kimberly Staples from Buford, GA, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship. Through her work with the International Thespian Society, she has taught leadership and arts advocacy workshops across the country, and been able to support students and the arts. Mackenzie plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and major in aerospace engineering, with the goal of specializing in drone technology.

$1,000 Scholarship Recipients

The following students were awarded $1,000 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarships:


In addition, 608 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarships of $500 were awarded to worthy students across the country.

WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship Facts:

  • Regions with the highest number of scholarship recipients: North Carolina East, Georgia North, Louisiana, Kentucky West, Texas Southeast, and Alabama North.
  • To date, interest in the scholarship program has helped Sales Representatives sign up 86 new members with more than $9.1 million in new insurance purchased.
  • Applications for the 2018 scholarships will be accepted Nov. 1, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018. Visit for more information.



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WoodmenLife was founded in 1890 as a not for profit. The organization gives back to its nearly 700,000 customers, who join together in a commitment to family, community and country. With a legacy of financial stability, WoodmenLife offers quality life insurance and retirement products. To learn more about WoodmenLife, visit