Maggie Lee Stewart Teaching Scholarship
The Maggie Lee Stewart Teaching Scholarship founded by the board of directors at Stewart’s Electric Motor Works, Inc. in 2002. The Scholarship was established in memory of the family’s Grandmother, Maggie Lee Kennedy Stewart (1900-1989) and Father, Joe W. Stewart (1928-2006) who both overcame financial and social difficulties in order to achieve their academic goals.
This scholarship is awarded every four years to those who aspire to teach the young people of Seminole County, but may not have the means to do so. The support of the scholarship enables these young academics to go to college so that they themselves can inspire others in the community to learn.
In the early 1900’s Maggie Stewart, a young Native American born into a farming family, began elementary school in Escambia County Florida. Maggie grew up during the ‘Jim Crow’ era, whereby all public areas, including schools, were segregated for the sole use of ‘blacks’ or ‘whites’. As Maggie was of neither race, she was forced to leave her school at the age of nine without completing even her primary education.
However, the prejudice that disadvantaged her immensely did not stop Maggie from fulfilling her dreams of literacy. Maggie not only learned to read and to write but she also developed a love for music which gave endless pleasure to herself and her family. Maggie went on to raise ten patriotic and productive children, six of whom served our country’s armed forces during World War II, Korea and the Vietnam Wars.
Maggie’s optimism and sprit in the face of uncertainty has inspired her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to believe that successes are always within reach; no matter what obstacles may lie in your path.
Our Father, Joe W. Stewart, was another member of the Stewart family who would not fall in the face of adversity. Joe, like his mother Maggie, was schooled in the Escambia county area. Joe was highly intelligent, an excellent student and an avid reader. Although Joe did not face racism as his mother had; 1930’s America did not deem higher education to be of importance to those children of limited means, such as Joe. However, Joe had always dreamed of obtaining a degree, and although it took him forty years to do so, Joe graduated from Florida Southern College in 1978.
Inspiring young people to learn and fulfill their potential is a personal passion of the Stewart family. Numerous members of our family have dedicated their lives to classroom teaching over the past two hundred years, adding a special significance to the scholarship.
For more information on the work we do or applying for the scholarship please contact us by phone or email.