Hometown Hero: Angie Swift
In August of 2016, Alexis Nicole Swift passed away before her 19th birthday.
To honor her memory and her legacy as an athlete and beloved friend and daughter, Alexis' parents established "the Alexis Swift Scholarship Fund.
Since the sudden death of her daughter, Angie Swift has been a role model for the youth in our community, inspiring them to do as Alexis always dreamed of doing.
"Angie has gone through so many painful things in her life that no one should have to endure," said Casey Vanmeter, first scholarship recipient.
Alexis' memory lives on through her lasting impact on the community ... and through scholarship ...
"She's handled them so well, the passing of her own child into something magnificent where she is able to give back to the community," Vanmeter said.
To honor her memory, her parents established the Alexis Swift Top Dog Scholarship Fund which provides two scholarships each year. The first scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing a degree in Nursing who works at either The Medical Center or Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital and who participated in swimming in high school, mirroring Alexis’ passions and career aspirations. The second scholarship is presented to a current employee or dependent of a current employee at General Motors Bowling Green Assembly where Jeromiah Swift currently works. This scholarship was established to recognize the support Jeromiah and Angie Swift received during the difficult time following their daughter's passing.
"Just knowing how I was so lucky that she picked me, that she thought of me as the perfect person to represent Alexis' Scholarship," said Vanmeter.
The recipients aren't chosen just off of those career aspirations, but those who's application letters reflect the words of Angie's daughter.
"She had printed it out, it was one of the things that was left in her desk," Angie Swift said.
Alexis wrote a paper in college about her "Most Important Person." She chose her mother, Angie.
"My important person is not a millionaire, a movie star, or someone famous, but she does save lives, " Alexis wrote in her paper.
"She actually had a seizure one day when I was home with her and she passed out, I rolled her over, she didn't have a pulse, and I did CPR on her and got her back pretty quick. I think that is what she is referring to in the paper about her mom saving her life and I guess we got two more good years," Angie Swift said.
"Angie Swift is a great mother, a great wife, a great nurse, she is top shelf, she is amazing," Vanmeter said.
"She taught me to be a strong person and not to ever give up on anything I wanted to do or accomplish because I think she always felt like if you work hard enough that you can do anything you want in life and you just have to work harder than the other person or harder than you think you can to get to what you want to achieve in life and I saw her do that," Angie said.
Out of tragedy comes something good. Angie has raised $46,000 for the scholarship fund to help other young students pursue their dreams.
For that strength, compassion and ability to make tragedy an opportunity for others, we honor Angie Swift as this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.
In the words of her daughter, "That is why she is the most important person in my life."
To apply for the Alexis' Swift Scholarship Fund click
Every year, Alexis' parents host the Alexis' Swift Top Dog Invitational