Anne Swaminathan, late Silver Spring therapist, mother of two and namesake of a scholarship exclusively for students at Springbrook High, was intelligent, fierce, candid and curious, according to her friend and neighbor Leslie O’Flahavan.
When her friend died last May after battling cancer, O’Flahavan knew a college scholarship would be the best way to remember the woman that she so admired.
“She believed in personal strength and personal goal-setting and so honoring her with a scholarship that bears her name makes sense because she believes that people can draw on their own personal strength to make a great life and she would have wanted to support a teenager that way,” said O’Flahavan of Swaminathan.
The Anne Swaminathan College Scholarship will be a $500 award to a Springbrook senior. Part of the criteria is that the applicants must demonstrate financial need by being eligible for the free and reduced meals program. The selected student will also have made good grades in challenging courses. (See the complete list of criteria on the scholarship website.)
O’Flahavan and her husband are funding the scholarship, but O’Flahavan said that community members have also stepped up to donate funds, so the actual award may end up being greater than $500.
Swaminathan was an active member of the Springbrook community (her eldest child graduated from the high school in 2011) and the greater Silver Spring community, O’Flahavan said. She lived in Maryland for 21 years, but was a native of India.
“Even when she was ill for a long time and her physical strength diminished a great deal over the years, her emotional and spiritual strength was very strong,” O’Flahavan said of Swaminathan. “You could never treat her like a small, sick person because she had a big, strong soul.”
Scholarship applications are due March 1. Head to annescholarship.org to apply.