Alabama REALTORS® Foundation 2023 Scholarship Recipients

Alabama REALTORS® Foundation 2023 Scholarship Recipients

Fourteen Alabama students will benefit from scholarships awarded through the Alabama Association of REALTORS® Education Scholarship Fund, a branch of the Alabama REALTORS® Foundation. From north Alabama to Mobile Bay, students with clear academic and career goals were selected based on their academic performance, recommendations and essays submitted for review by Foundation Trustees. The trustees reviewed dozens of anonymous applications to select this year’s scholarship fund recipients.

All recipients are Alabama residents and are either children or grandchildren of active, licensed REALTOR® members in good standing. “These scholarships represent AAR’s investment in the future of our state through our members and their families,” said AAR President RaJane Johnson. You can learn more about the Education Scholarship Fund eligibility and application criteria here. 

Meet your 2023 AAR Foundation Education Scholarship recipients.


Drewann Buettner - Robertsdale

“The best ‘advice’ I have been given is from the Bible. In Matthew 6:34, it says ‘therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.”

Drewann Buettner chose nearby University of South Alabama because of its criminal justice program and beautiful campus.  She believes a degree in criminal justice will help people get the justice they deserve and make a change within society as a whole.” She credits her mother for influencing her academic choice.  “She always told me I am a leader and need to use my position to help others. She pushed me to make the decision to pursue a criminal justice major.”

Looking ahead, Drewann envisions working as a university professor someday.

REALTOR® sponsor:  Paula Ann Campbell Buettner


Victoria Gibbs - Hoover

“Art is my passion and I wanted to make that a part of my career.  Art therapy is an amazing therapeutic tool to help others reach a level of comfort and stability.”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will be Victoria Gibbs’ new home this fall.  She chose UAB because it is a top medical school and is home to the UAB Institute of Arts in Medicine.  Victoria will major in psychology with a minor in visual art and plans to become an art therapist.

“After college, I would love to have a facility to provide others in need with not only visual art therapy but also music and expressive writing therapy.  Helping teens and young adults learn coping skills for anxiety, OCD, and depression through art therapy is a huge goal of mine.”

Victoria credits her dad with advising her to “toughen up on the outside as I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, but to never lose my compassionate sweet heart inside.”

REALTOR® sponsor:  Bear Blackmon


Isabelle Hoffmann - Tuscaloosa

“I have loved the brain since I was a child and have always loved to learn about it.”

If all goes according to her plan, Isabelle Hoffman will be practicing as a neuropsychologist in the years ahead.  “I have a lifelong passion for the brain,” says Hoffman. She chose to attend Auburn University because of its excellent neuroscience program and the kind and welcoming people on campus.  

Hoffman credits her mom for consistently reminding her to never give up.

REALTOR® sponsor:  Jennifer Hoffman


Makenzie Jones - Tuscaloosa

“Helping the sick is my passion and purpose in life.”

Makenzie Jones has witnessed sickness and death far too often and it made a significant impact on her decision to pursue medicine. “From an early age, I learned my family has a bad history of cancer. Sadly, I have lost my grandad, great-grandad, great aunts, and aunt, all from cancer.”  

Choosing the University of South Alabama because of its biomedical program, Jones plans to continue on to medical school after graduation and become a pediatrician.

Jones believes the workload from her major will be her hardest challenge. But, she said, her parents taught her to never give up, have faith and keep God first.

REALTOR® sponsor:  Juanita Taggart-Jones


Loyalty Kindred - Opelika

“I chose computer science because I realized I connected more with computers than I originally thought.  The feeling coding gave me was beyond anything I could imagine.  My world felt limitless.”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will be Loyalty Kindred’s home this fall and she’s looking forward to being in a place where she can take a deeper dive into her interests. Kindred credits her computer science teacher, Mrs. Carroll, with helping her find her love for computer science and design.  

Kindred’s dream job is to be a software engineer at Microsoft or Google. Using the experience she gains, Kindred plans to someday own her own tech company.

REALTOR® sponsor:  William Davenport


Ethan Laney - Leesburg

“I’ve always loved service, and being able to give back to others in extreme times of need sounds like the ultimate honor to me.”

Ethan Laney’s grandparents suffered from heart issues and witnessing the work of their physicians in formulating a treatment plan sparked his desire to pursue medicine.  He chose to begin his studies at Auburn University majoring in microbiology. He loves being a member of the Auburn family and connecting with others who love Auburn.   

In 20 years, Laney believes he will be a cardiothoracic surgeon and planning a campaign for either governor of Alabama or the United States Senate.  

REALTOR® sponsor:  Leanne Laney


Amy Moore - Montgomery

“I have struggled with a genetic heart condition for all my life.  I was sent to the UAB hospital to talk with the cardiologists there.  I was blown away by the professionalism and kindness displayed by the doctor I went to see.”

Amy Moore chose to major in biomedical sciences at the University of Alabama in Birmingham with the aim of becoming a physician. She does well in biology and other science-related subjects and finds those subjects engaging. Moore says her experiences as a patient at UAB helped her realize the importance of trained medical professionals.

Moore’s long-term goal is to become an accomplished physician – right now her interests are in dermatology and neurology – successful enough to pay her parents back for their dedication to raising her to be a lover of knowledge.

REALTOR® sponsor:  Lily Moore


Chase Morgan - Enterprise

“During my experience working on a farm, I realized there was a need for agriculture insurance agents in our area.”

Majoring in business administration, with a concentration on risk management, Chase Morgan believes he will be on a career path that he will enjoy working in business and the farming industry.  Morgan will be a freshman at Troy University where he looks forward to his studies, campus life, and football games.  

Morgan says after graduation he would like to own an insurance agency and run for the Alabama House of Representatives.  

REALTOR® sponsor:  Rebekah Morgan


Juliette Sandefur - Fairhope

“My mom has said from the beginning that I need to just do what I love and that if I really love it and want it, then it should not be that hard of a decision.”

A devastating volleyball injury prompted the University of Alabama student to choose to major in kinesiology and minor in biology.  Sandefur fractured her LF vertebrae due to improper weight training and repetitive movements.  She worked hard to make sure she did not make the same mistakes again and wants to prevent injuries in others.  “My curiosity for the human body has grown exponentially since then and I am eager to learn more.”

Sandefur hopes to become an orthopedic physician’s assistant.

REALTOR® sponsor:  Stephanie Sandefur


Trey Schlemmer III - Montgomery

“My dream job after I graduate college would be a career in real estate investing. This is because I see the opportunity it has to offer for anyone willing to take the risk and put forth the work to be successful.”

Trey Schlemmer says he’s always had a passion for business, specifically real estate.  He chose to pursue a major in finance with a minor in real estate development at Auburn University. Schlemmer credits his siblings and his father, all who attended Auburn, with advising him on his academic path and how to be successful.

Schlemmer’s dad is his role model and has advised him from a young age to embrace the truth, fulfill his calling for life, and live courageously.

REALTOR® sponsor:  Norman Schlemmer


Brynna Smith - Tuscaloosa

“I chose nursing as my major because I truly believe it is one of the best ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus and ever since I was young, I have been passionate about helping people.”

Watching her dad battle cancer when she was a child made a deep impression on Samford University student Brynna Smith. “It was the nurses who always were a consistent source of encouragement to him,” Smith said.  The experience made her want to do that with others.  

Smith’s dream job would be to work in Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.  She also would like to be a travel nurse.

A quote that her father has lived by is one from late basketball player, coach, and broadcaster Jimmy Valvano: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”  Smith says this is now the mantra for her life as well.

REALTOR® sponsor:   Chantelle Smith


Jackson Taylor - Montgomery

“I had the opportunity in high school to learn about wealth management and was able to invest and manage my own money in the stock market.  That sparked a passion in me that I can’t wait to further explore.”

Carrying on a family tradition of attending Auburn University, Jackson is excited to pursue a degree in finance to become a wealth manager. “I am analytical, adaptive, possess good communication skills, and have a strong interest in the financial market.  Therefore, it’s a natural fit,” says Jackson.  

Jackson says his mom has been his greatest influence. “She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and whatever I choose to do, give it my very best effort. You never have a second chance to make a first impression again.”

REALTOR® sponsor:  Emily Hale Taylor


Vail Tew - Orange Beach

“I chose business entrepreneurship as my major.  Being around my parents, who are entrepreneurs as well, motivated me to want to start my own non-profit called The Pre-Vail Project.  The mission will place emphasis on encouragement, hope, and kindness in the world.”

Vail Tew also wants to be a private pilot.  

The Samford University student says her parents influenced her major.  Her mom is a real estate broker who owns her own company, and her dad owns a construction company that specializes in large renovations.

Tew remembers her dad’s advice from second grade that gave her a sense of excitement and made her want to go to school each day.  He told her, “School is cool.” “I have enjoyed school ever since,” said Tew.

REALTOR® sponsor: Crystal Lee Tew


Lily Vierkandt - Dothan

“My dream job is to work as a Realtor®. I have grown up around the business through my parents and grandparents.”

University of Alabama student, Lily Vierkandt will double major in marketing and real estate at her favorite school. “Marketing will give me a wider variety of experience and knowledge in my future career. Majoring in real estate will give me the opportunity to prepare myself for my future career.”

Vierkandt credits her dad with influencing her choice in majors. “I have always looked up to my dad and his sense of business.” She says her mother is her source for the best advice. “I talk to my mother on a very regular basis and in every conversation she always has a pint of advice.”

REALTOR® sponsor:  Laura and Tim Vierkandt