Hunter would like to attend Vanderbilt University to major in medicine and minor in psychology, with becoming a psychologist another possible career choice. She also volunteers at Baptist Health Paducah.
“I wanted to find a way to help out the doctors and all the people who were in the hospital, and I thought that would be good way,” she said.
Jones, the daughter of Leon and Malinda Jones, said she thought about becoming a teacher when she was younger, but as she got older she found assisting her grandmother who was in the hospital a positive experience.
“I really enjoyed helping her and it just made me feel like a good person, helping people get better,” she said, with a nursing career a possibility.
She also has traveled with Starfish Ministries to aid the people of El Salvador.
“The mission trips really impacted me. You get to see how people in less fortunate situations live, and it really made me grateful for the things I have.”
She would like to attend Howard University and continue mission trips, possibly spending a semester studying abroad.
The PaxtonScholars Program seeks to enhance student self-esteem, parent or guardian advocacy, peer and mentor interaction, maintenance and improvement of academic performance, and preparation for college transition.
PaxtonScholars will receive college scholarship funds based on grade-point averages during their junior and senior years of high school and through the first two semesters of college. Each student also will receive a college-suitable laptop computer.
Both Hunter and Jones said the resources available to them through the PaxtonScholars program will have a lasting impact.
“I felt proud and honored to be a recipient,” said Hunter, who wrote in her application the award would allow her to “further my academic successes while doing everything to the best of my ability, to become successful in life.”
Jones said the program will help her “step outside my comfort zone and show increased self-confidence, prepare for the college transition and aid in building a solid foundation for life after high school.”
“I plan to take full advantage of this great honor if selected.”