Photographer Leon Childs
College is an expensive investment for one student, therefore having two students attending at the same time is double the commitment. As an identical twin my sister and I experienced this challenge personally along with finding financial support to assist us along the way. I started these scholarships with hopes to lessen the financial burden for other twins pursuing their educational goals.
Our first scholarship was established as a `one time’ award at Aiken Technical College in Aiken, South Carolina. I decided to name it: “Steward Twin Scholarship” on behalf of my twin/co-sponsor. It was an awesome feeling being able to help other twins although that was not the end of our assignment. God continued to nudge at me another five or six years later. I wanted to do more on a larger scale, yet I did not know how, so I started researching. My research journey became very frustrating to the point I wanted to give up until I received encouragement from my Aunt Tonya; she has always been a positive influence. She sent me an inspirational video shared by Tyler Perry that led me to believe we have what we need to get started towards our dreams; we just need the faith to take the first step. I believe God always gives us what we need at the right time.
My family was blessed to have two sets of fraternal twins through my brother’s children. They are two years apart in age and were three and five, at the time. This seemed like the perfect time to establish the next set of scholarships for them to be co-sponsors.
In 2014, two scholarships were established at Claflin University and The University of South Carolina in Aiken. The significance behind these schools was that my twin and I attended Claflin for a Summer Math and Science Program while in 10th grade and USC Aiken was our alma mater. This was our way of giving back. Between the beginning of these two scholarships God gave us an angel. One of the baby twins Blair died from a rare disease. In the midst of our mourning I felt the best way to honor him as a co-sponsor, would be to rename the scholarships in his memory.
I contemplated establishing one more scholarship at a specific school where my twin and I attended a summer Pre-Mate program during our high school senior year. My decision was clearly confirmed when I met my Cousin Leonard at a family reunion a few months later and learned that his twin sister Amber had recently passed away. She had attended the school of my choice which was another confirmation that the final scholarship should be established at Benedict College in Columbia, SC in the name of “Steward and Coaxum Twin Scholarship” in their memory. My cousin also became a co-sponsor.
This challenging journey continues to be a blessing. The three scholarships are active and receive funds. As of now seven students have been awarded scholarships. We appreciate the contributions, prayers, encouragement and donations from family, friends, community, and everyone with a heart to give. Without the financial contributions, these scholarships cannot exist. If you have questions about the scholarships or want to make a donation, please contact the schools directly. We thank you in advance for your love and support.