Echo Boutique expands Hope Scholarship


TROY — The Hope Scholarship, 101 South Market St., Troy, awarded scholarships to two local high school seniors through the annual Hope Character Scholarship.

The 2021 recipients each who received their scholarships personally because graduation ceremonies were still limited due to COVID-19, are Tag Bender, Troy City Schools, $5,000; and Maiya Dilbone, Troy Christian Schools, $5,000.

The Hope Scholarship President Kelli Szakal and Vice President Sheila Kesling said selecting this year’s scholarship recipients was both emotional and rewarding.

“Our scholarship is awarded based on character and we have some amazing students in our area. It was so hard to choose. We know this money is going to some very deserving students,” Szakal said. “We were really blessed to receive several large donations this year.”

Last year, seven scholarships were given for a total of $4,000. This year, a total of $10,000 was awarded to two students. The Hope Scholarship Corp. began in 2018 with two seniors receiving a total of $1,500.

“We’ve grown so much in four years thanks to generous donors and to everyone who has contributed to our fundraisers or bought T-shirts, bags and bracelets,” said Szakal, noting that The Hope Scholarship Corp. received its own 501(c)(3) status in 2020 which will allow the scholarship to grow further and reach more students.

“We could not be more excited to be able to help these incredible students out as they take their next steps in their education. We are so grateful for everyone who believes in our mission.”

The Hope Scholarship’s mission is to bring hope through a variety of ways to the community. This includes scholarship money based on character, paying off overdue lunch accounts in schools and partnering with other non-profits to meet needs.

The Hope Scholarship is part of the downtown boutique, Echo Boutique, which opened in 2015.

For more information about the scholarship or for questions about donating, events coming up or getting involved, call the store at (937) 219-5651 or visit their website at

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