Supporter Stories

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell


Sylvia describes her mother, Forest, as a “real flapper,” a self-determined woman who inspired her students to strive for independence, too. When Forest passed away in 1993, Sylvia asked friends, family and colleagues to give to JRF in her mother’s name. In 2012, Sylvia made a donation to make the Forest Stewart Hillyard Scholarship a permanent award to help low-income women across the country.

“This fund honors the memory of my mother, Forest Stewart Hillyard (1907-1993). A native of West Virginia she held the BS in Education in Home Economics from Marshall College (now Marshall University) in Huntington, WV, and an advanced degree in Vocational Home Economics from West Virginia University. Her career was as a high school Home Economics educator in both West Virginia and Florida. Upon retirement she taught through continuing education programs. She was a stalwart advocate of equality for women and a committed supporter of that cause. Throughout her life, both in and out of the classroom, she worked tirelessly toward the advancement of women through promoting the importance of education and actively counseling and encouraging women toward career goals. The work of JRF provides a means of continuing and supporting her beliefs and goals.”

The Forest Stewart Hillyard Scholarship is awarded each year as a tribute to a remarkable woman who spent her life and career helping other women achieve their dreams.