Chatterbox. Talkative. Vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Some people have the gift of gab, and some do not. For the late Nancy Whitaker, being able to express oneself through speech was a career and a passion.
Whitaker made a career as a speech pathologist with the Marion City Schools. When, she passed in late 2021 with no relatives or heirs, she made sure her passion for helping others speak would continue forever. She left her modest estate to Marion Community Foundation for the creation of a charitable endowment to provide college scholarships for future generations of speech and hearing professionals.
A speech and hearing pathologist, such as Whitaker was, works with people of all ages, from babies to adults, treating many types of communication problems, such as difficulties with articulation or understanding spoken or written words, fluency issues such as stuttering, and mechanical issues like swallowing, among others. Her scholarship is available to students pursing an education in the field of speech and hearing, including research, treatment, education, and cures for people who suffer from speech and hearing impairments and diseases.
The Whitaker Scholarship is open to high school seniors who have lived in Marion for at least the last two years.