(WEST CHESTER, PA – July 06, 2022): The Chester County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation has hit a huge milestone by raising $10,000 for its annual scholarship. Stephen’s mother, Laura Chandler Ericson, first issued the challenge to raise $10,000 at last year’s scholarship presentation in June 2021. One year later and the Ericson family is grateful to announce the highest scholarship amount awarded to date. 

According to Stephen’s sister Cynthia, “In 2017, we began the sponsorship program and through the generosity of so many friends and organizations, we went from $1,500 to $6,000 in 2017 through 2020, $8,000 in 2021, and finally reached the $10,000 milestone in 2022.  THANK-YOU sponsors – it is because of you that Stephen reached this new level of giving back!”

The Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship was founded in 1984 in memory of Stephen Ericson, who entered Heaven on September 19, 1984, at 6:03 pm. Stephen was running to score a goal at his soccer game when lightning struck, ending in a tragic accident. After an outpouring of support from friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers inquiring about making donations in his honor, Stephen’s mother and father, Laura Chandler Ericson and Joseph H. Ericson, Jr., established the Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship. The goal of the fund is to help young people with their education and inspire a mindset of giving back. The first scholarship was awarded in May 1985 and continues to this day.  The scholarship cannot be applied for and the student is selected, by the high school faculty.  The criteria for selection are based on the student having a good Christian testimony, a sense of humor, being an average student, having a good school spirit, being active in sports, and, active in music.

In 2010, the Ericson family started the Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation at the Chester County Community Foundation so donations could grow in perpetuity.  Each year, Stephen pays it forward from his heavenly address, as he helps high school students achieve their educational goals as they begin their freshman year of college or trade school.  The mission is three-fold: WITH GOD, Turning Tragedy into Triumph, the Importance of Education, and Paying it Forward.

Cynthia shares, “Stephen was a gentle and kind soul, with a great capacity for love and understanding. We pray the scholarship truly resonates with the student and becomes a catalyst for helping others, and embracing service above self, as ‘one life makes a difference.”

The scholarship is awarded annually to a senior high school student in the Chester County area. On June 30, 2022, Katherine Simpson received her $10,000 scholarship check from the Ericson Family. Katherine will be studying Elementary Education at Duquesne University in the fall. “I am so grateful to receive the Stephen Chandler Ericson Scholarship.  As a future teacher, the motto ‘one life makes a difference’ really resonated with me. I hope to be able to use this motto as motivation to give my students every tool possible so that each one can make their own difference in this world.”

The Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation is a fund of the Chester County Community Foundation. To learn more about the fund, please visit:


About the Chester County Community Foundation

The Stephen Chandler Ericson Foundation is organized under the auspices of the Chester County Community Foundation. Headquartered in West Chester’s Lincoln Building, the Chester County Community Foundation connects people who care with causes that matter so their legacy philanthropy makes a difference now and forever. The Community Foundation holds nearly $100 million in trust and annually awards $4.5 million in grants and scholarships. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit  


For further information, contact:
Jamison Ludgate, Marketing & Outreach Officer
Chester County Community Foundation  (484) 880 – 4527