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Peyton Tuthill Foundation gives scholarships to students affected by homicide

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:57 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida Capitol has been lit up in purple this week in honor of National Victims Rights Week.

One woman has pushed for change since the murder of her daughter more than 20 years ago.

Pat Tuthill has been nationally recognized for her work, not only changing legislation but creating a foundation to help others affected by homicide.

Tuthill emphasized that victims have rights to be informed and protected, and that includes their privacy.

Tuthill spent most of her career in the aerospace and medical industry as an HR director.

In 1999, her daughter Peyton was preparing to attend graduate school in Colorado when she was sexually assaulted and murdered by a previous offender who had traveled there from Maryland.

Tuthill explained, “After I finally got out of bed, I left my career on faith and a penny, and traveled the country championing legislative change in all 50 states, that handle how offenders are transferred from state to state.”

After the last bill signing in 2005, Tuthill created a foundation, connecting young people who have been impacted by homicide, and giving out scholarships.

She said that often, those children suffer and are lost in the system.

Tuthill says the program has 20 total graduates, with 14 more young people in school right now.

One of those scholarship recipients named Jesse told WCTV about his and his brother’s experience.

“In 2018, I lost my mom to domestic violence and my whole life was flipped upside down. Within a few days, the founder of the Peyton Tuthill foundation, Mrs. Pat, reached out to my older brother and I and offered us this scholarship. In a time when there were a massive amount of uncertainty, it was life-changing to know that I could stay in school and not have to worry where my tuition is coming from. Fast forward three years, my older brother has already graduated from FSU and I’m about to finish my last semester of my undergraduate. Without Mrs. Pat and her foundation, we wouldn’t be where we are today and I know the same applies for so many other people across the country. I am so beyond thankful for the opportunities that Mrs. Pat and the Peyton Tuthill Foundation have provided me with, and I am so blessed to have them in my life!!”

Tuthill is currently accepting applications for the upcoming school year, and there are fundraising events coming up.

You can learn more about upcoming events or apply for the scholarship, here.

One fundraiser will be on September 23rd, a socially distanced wine and cheese tasting with a golf clinic from FAMU’s golf coach. 100% of the proceeds go toward providing scholarships.

There are multiple resources available for victims of crime, including the Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition and the Office for Victims of Crime.

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