Sisters establish twin scholarships

by | August 4, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: August 4, 2018 at 12:47 am

Left to right: De’Leon and Delando Steward Jr. and Blair and Blake Steward with Vandria and Andria Steward (back.)

Three college scholarships for twins are offered by Ruffin natives and identical twins Vandria and Andria Steward with their twin nieces and nephews, Delando Jr. and De’Leon Steward and Blake and the late Blair Steward.

“I was motivated to start these scholarships due to the lack of available scholarships offered for twins when my sister and I started our undergrad studies,” Vandria said. “As you know, college is an expensive investment for one student; therefore, having two students attending at the same time is double the commitment. These scholarships provide financial assistance for twins, helping relieve the family of the financial strain of sending more than one child to school at once.”

The scholarships — at Claflin University, USC Aiken and Benedict College — are awarded annually as funds become available to twin(s) who meet the requirements of the need-based scholarships to cover books, tuition and/or fees.

Amber Coaxum

Leonard Coaxum

The first two scholarships, the Steward Twin Scholarships, were named to represent all the twins in the Steward family. “Since the awarding of the second scholarship in December 2014, God has given us an angel,” Vandria said. “We recently lost one of our baby twins, Blair, who was only three when he passed in March 2015. I then chose to rename the second and third scholarships in his memory. However, God’s plans weren’t finished, which is where the fourth scholarship comes in.”

During the summer of 2015, the Coaxum-Holmes family reunion was held in Orlando, Fla. There, Vandra met a cousin, Leonard Coaxum. “I learned that he, too, was a twin and had recently lost his twin sister, Amber Coaxum,” she said. “After learning this, I was moved to create the final scholarship.” The name was changed to The Steward and Coaxum Twins Scholarship award, in memory of Blair Steward and Amber Coaxum, at Benedict College is co-sponsored by Leonard Coaxum. “These are our beautiful family members, and I want to gain support to keep their memory alive through supporting the education of other young people trying to advance themselves.”

Since the first scholarship, six students have been awarded scholarships.

All three scholarships are ongoing and continue to accept donations. For information contact Vandria Steward, stewardtwinsscholarships@gmail.com.

 

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