The Sonya Swain Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at the Scioto Foundation to honor the memory of an innovative leader of her community and a friend to all who knew her, in the words of her husband Rick A. Swain of Waverly, Ohio who created the fund.
To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a graduating senior from Waverly City Schools, Scioto Valley Schools, Western Local Schools or the Pike County Career Technology Center with a home school of one of those mentioned. Applications must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and plan to pursue a degree in business or the arts.
To be considered for the scholarship, students must complete a 500-word essay on what it means to “live every day like it’s your last,” submit a letter of reference from an administrator, teacher, coach, or employer addressing his or her qualities of leadership, positive attitudes and the senior’s service to the community. Applicants must also submit a high school transcript reflecting the student’s accumulative high school GPA and a short narrative of post-graduation plans. Each recipient will receive $500.
School counselors and principals at the qualifying schools will make the annual selections.
Sonya, who died on March 3, 2021, operated two small businesses in Waverly, one as contract school photographer. Born in Chillicothe on June 4, 1973 Sonya was the daughter of
Phil Sager and Connie Powell, residents of Waverly. She also operated the Bronze and Beautiful Day Spa in Waverly. The Swains have five children and four grandchildren.
“She had a passion for people. She took this passion and created two successful businesses with an objective to make people look and feel amazing about themselves,” said her good friend and business partner Amy Stiltner. “Sonya was a believer that hard work and dedication would always pay off. She would pour her love for life, community and family into anyone who spent even the smallest amount of time with her.”
“The Sonya Swain Memorial Scholarship was established to encourage and remind students that an obstacle is only a stepping stone to your achievements,” Stiltner said. “The Sonya Swain Memorial Scholarship will ensure that Sonya’s legacy of entrepreneurship, innovative thinking and love for her community will continue.”
“To honor Sonya’s legacy her family, along with Amy Stiltner and the staff of Treasured Images Photography, would like to gift scholarships to select students of the schools Treasured Images Photography serves,” Rick Swain added. , Stiltner has now has taken over operation of the Treasured Images Photography business. Swain has pledged to give a percent of the profits of the business back to the local high schools they have photography contracts with in the form of the Sonya Swain Memorial Scholarships.
Swain is the vice president of the Ohio Valley Bank in Waverly.
Contributions to the Sonya Swain Memorial Scholarship Fund from family, friends or the general public may be made at any time. Donations may be in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property.
Additional information about the Sonya Swain Memorial Scholarship Fund or other planned giving opportunities may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Manager for Donor Services, or Ginnie Moore, Grants and Scholarships Coordinator, at the Scioto Foundation, (740) 354-4612.
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