The BSCAI Stephen H. Swigart Scholarship for Higher Education provides building service contractors and their families an opportunity to pursue higher education. This scholarship promotes the welfare of the public as it relates to the contract cleaning and maintenance industry. Completing just a few semesters of college education can often lead to higher paying jobs and greater job opportunities. And yet, many people find college education courses are out of reach due to the cost of tuition and books.
Anthony Jerome Echols Jr. is the newest recipient of the scholarship, sponsored by Spartan Chemical. The Ohio-based company is a leader in cleaning and sanitation solutions for the industrial and institutional market. Steve Swigart has spent five decades with Spartan Chemical, having held numerous decision-making positions including CEO and Chairman since 2000.
Anthony Echols is a student at Georgia State University working hard to finish his sophomore year in May 2023 as he pursues Bachelor and Master degrees in Sports Management and Administration. Being a life-long student-athlete, Anthony has participated as player, coach, and supporting staff in almost all sports. From soccer to football to basketball and swimming, Anthony says he’s the type of person who loves the fun that lies within the competition of sport and who appreciates the life lessons sports can teach us. Basketball is the sport Anthony has been most involved in and most passionate about since he started playing at age 5, and he stills plays and studies the game daily.
Anthony is striving to graduate with Honors, and he plans to use his degrees towards his budding career with the Atlanta Hawks, eventually starting a basketball training business of his own. Anthony believes his purpose is to learn, grow, and give back, and his goal is to create a haven for the youth in his East Atlanta hometown community and beyond, so they can have the opportunity to recognize and develop their own true potential.
Read an exclusive interview with Anthony below.
1. What motivated you to apply for the scholarship?
I was informed about this scholarship by my mother who is a business development and proposal manager working with one of the BSCAI members, PMM Companies. She found out about this opportunity through one of the BSCAI newsletter emails and, when she told me about it, honestly, I was hesitant because of the numerous times I’ve applied for scholarships in the past with no success. However, I kept thinking about how helpful it could be and decided that I had more to lose by not applying than I did if I at least tried, and so I did.
About 3 months later, I was very pleasantly surprised when I woke up to the news that I was the student selected for the award. I had already assumed someone else had been chosen by then, so I was shocked, and I couldn’t have been more excited when I read the congratulations email. I ran to tell my mom the news, and we cheered (ha-ha)!
2. How does it feel to have been named the recipient?
It feels great to have been chosen for this award, to be blessed with the opportunity for more education at a reduced personal financial expense. I understand how few of such opportunities come around for many in the world, so I truly feel honored to accept this award, and I’m simply overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude.
3. How will this impact your career in the industry?
This scholarship will greatly assist me in continuing my undergraduate studies with a lot less worry about how I will pay for them. These additional funds will provide me with more flexibility in my work schedule, allowing more time for studies, and the ability to save more towards my graduate and law school degrees down the line. As well, winning this award gives me the confidence to try finding other scholarships again, and to keep trying even if I don’t win, because I won’t stand a chance if I don’t try.
I would like to sincerely thank the people at BSCAI for choosing me as the recipient for such an incredible award - the 2022 Spartan Scholarship.