Clay County, Kentucky Student Receives Carol Barr Fund Scholarship

Taylor Messer Carol Barr Fund 350 H

MANCHESTER, KY (July 28, 2022) - The American Heart Association (AHA) is excited to announce the recipients of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) scholarships provided by the AHA'S Carol Barr Fund for female students in parts of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Taylor Messer, a senior at Clay County High School, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship that is renewable for up to four years. Taylor plans to attend the University of Pikeville in the fall of 2022 to double major in biology with a pre-med track and healthcare management.

"My community has shaped and ultimately built the individual I am today," Taylor says. "... It would be a great honor to give back to my rural community."

Taylor Messer Andy Barr 350 H

"Across the country, women are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields, and STEM-based opportunities for girls in rural areas are especially limited," Andrea Ooten, Central and Eastern Kentucky Executive Director, says. "Last year, we created a STEM scholarship program in honor of the late Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr, with a goal of bridging the gap between Eastern Kentucky students' interest in pursuing a career in a STEM field and achieving their dreams."

All female high school students who live in any of the 54 Eastern Kentucky counties served by Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) were eligible to apply. With nearly 100 applicants, three renewable $10,000 scholarships were made possible by the Murry Foundation, and three one-time $2,500 scholarships were made possible by Battelle Memorial Institute.

"As cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one killer of women, ensuring more women are at the forefront of developing science, technology, engineering and math solutions has never been more imperative," Ooten says.

The recipients were recognized during a reception on July 25 at Malone's Prime Events and Receptions in Lexington. For more information, visit


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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century.


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