SALEM - The first Nancy Hickey Memorial Healthcare Scholarship will be awarded at the Salem High School Alumni Association Reunion and Banquet on May 26.
This is the first association scholarship that will be open to not only graduating Salem High School seniors but also SHS alumni. Applicants may be currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a postsecondary healthcare program. The eligible healthcare programs include those that lead to careers such as certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, physical therapists and their assistants, radiology and pharmacy technicians, or other accredited programs that prepare individuals to provide direct patient care.
The new scholarship was created during the summer of 2011 in memory of Nancy Howell Hickey '53 with a $100,000 donation by her husband, Robert "Bob" Hickey '50; son, Leo Hickey '74; daughter, Lois Hickey Peters '73; son-in-law, Nick Peters '73; and by Hickey Metal Fabrication. The family previously created the Hickey Metal Fabrication Vocational Scholarship with a $100,000 donation in 2006 to help new Salem graduates obtain vocational training in education programs of two years or less in duration.
Mrs. Hickey was born in Salem in 1935, the daughter of Karl and Katherine Stratton Howell. After graduating from Salem High School in 1953, she worked at Farmers Bank.
In 1955, she married her high school sweetheart, Bob Hickey. Together they built the small heating and furnace business they took over after the death of Bob's father into a successful manufacturing company that today employs more than 125 people at four Salem locations.
Mrs. Hickey died on June 24, 2011, surrounded by her family in hospice care. Her health issues started five years earlier with a blood infection that left her needing round-the-clock, in-home healthcare.
"Because of Mom's illness we came to understand how important it is to have qualified healthcare professionals, particularly home healthcare providers. They are vital to being able to keep a loved one at home. We learned that it takes a special person to be a caregiver," explained Mrs. Peters.
Creating a scholarship that helps new Salem High School graduates and SHS alumni with the costs of obtaining the education and credentials they need to work in a healthcare field is the family's way of helping people who dedicate themselves to caring for others.
The chairman of the alumni association's scholarship committee, Jean Esposito, expressed the association's gratitude for the Hickeys' thoughtfulness in creating this scholarship. "The scholarship is an enduring tribute to a remarkable woman. SHS graduates are indeed fortunate that the Hickeys have decided to honor her memory by establishing this new scholarship."
The deadline for applications this year is April 4 for alumni and April 12 for graduating seniors. Complete application information is available at the association's Web site www.salemohioalumni.org.