FSU Foundation

Georgia student named first recipient of Maura Binkley Memorial Scholarship

Image of Penelope and Maura

Katie Kaplan | WCTV

ATLANTA, Ga.—18 months ago, a shooting at a Tallahassee yoga studio left two women dead; one of which was 21-year-old Florida State student Maura Binkley.

While her life was cut short, her legacy continues on.

Like most high school graduates, 17-year-old Penelope Aballera is trying to navigate her senior year amid the coronavirus crisis.

"So, I kind of talked about how that has been affecting me and how it sucks that my dreams are being canceled," said Aballera, who will graduate from Dunwoody High School in suburban Atlanta in June.

The same school Binkley graduated from in 2015.

It had always touched me in the way that it touches everyone who hears about it," Abellera said of the shooting incident at then-Hot Yoga in November of 2018, when she was a sophomore at DHS.

After writing a short essay about navigating life during the pandemic, Abellera and her family received some good news; she would be the first ever recipient of Maura's namesake memorial scholarship.