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Mother establishes the Hayley McHam Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Blinn College in honor of her late daughter

The $15,000 donation will create scholarships for students who have overcome significant challenges

April 18, 2019

Janelle Swafford recently gifted $15,000 to the Blinn College Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship in memory of her late daughter, Hayley McHam.

“I personally admire Blinn College because it offers so many degrees in programs that help others,” Swafford said. “Hayley was generous to everyone and always wanted to help others. I know how much going to college meant to her, and I was so proud of her for getting her two-year degree.”

The Hayley McHam Memorial Endowed Scholarship is available to Applied Science and Health Sciences majors who have overcome a significant personal or physical hurdle or challenge.

“We are thankful that Ms. Swafford’s gift will enhance the lives of our students while continuing Hayley’s legacy,” said Sam Sommer, Blinn Foundation Chair. “Hayley’s story will inspire and give hope to each student who receives her scholarship.”

When Hayley was 17 years old, she was in a vehicular accident. Despite severe injuries, she earned her associate degree in digital photography at Nossi College of Art.

“Hayley’s dominant arm was amputated above the elbow and she had to learn to use her non-dominant hand,” Swafford said. “She was able to get into a college program to study photography. Photography came naturally to her because she saw beauty in everything.”

Current and prospective students can now apply for the Hayley McHam Memorial Endowed Scholarship online at Before applying, students must complete their admission application at and submit their high school transcripts to the Blinn Admissions Office.

Students applying for the scholarship will be asked to submit a written communication that describes how they have overcome a significant personal or physical hurdle or challenge, how they stay motivated, and how this challenge has shaped their future goals. The cutoff date for the written communication portion of the application is Friday, May 10.

The Blinn Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization designed to provide financial support for programs and activities that enhance the quality of education for Blinn College students and expand educational opportunities for the entire community. The Foundation supports the College by generating private and corporate gifts for scholarships, academic programs, student activities, campus buildings, and special events.

While raising funds is an important function, the Blinn Foundation also seeks to heighten community awareness of the mission and accomplishments of the College and to promote excellence in education. For more information, visit











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