Gold Star Siblings are often forgotten grievers and there are very few, if any, assistance programs out there for us. I, Sienna Hicks, a Co-Founder of HicksStrong, would like to change that so I created:
The Sienna Hicks Gold Star Sibling Grant
I created this Grant so I can present well-deserving Gold Star Siblings with a check to help them succeed in college on their grief-shifted path.
You must be a sibling of a military member who has died while serving to apply. Specific circumstances of how the loss occurred, their or your age when they passed, or the branch they were in have no bearing on who we award, though you do have the opportunity to tell your and your sibling's story if you so choose to.
There will be 10 slots available for each year. Each Grant is $1,000 with a total of $10,000 granted each year.
Must be Gold a Star Sibling - Including but not limited to Active-Duty or Reserves loss of a Military sibling due to any cause of death (see application)
Any level of College/University Education
The application must be submitted prior to the deadlines
I, Sienna Hicks, founded this Grant for Gold Star Siblings like myself. I lost my big brother, U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman Macoy Austin Daniel Hicks, to his battle with Post Traumatic Stress. After serving at countless funerals in Arlington National Cemetery, he couldn’t get the family’s cries out of his head. Not to mention his command drove him to death. Macoy was a 20-year-old active-duty serviceman when he died by suicide. I was 18 years old and forced to learn how to live without my only sibling. I quickly learned how invisible surviving siblings can be in society. When people talk about loss and list off relations they always say “grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, spouse, and friend” but never siblings.
As sibling survivors, we are the forgotten grievers. We are overlooked and ignored in our grief. People ask us how our parents are doing, but fail to ask us how we are. We struggle. People tell me I need to take care of my parents as though I wasn’t still a child when I lost Macoy to suicide. I was 18 years old and had to learn how to plan my big brother's funeral. I had to learn how to survive again. I had to learn how to become the same age as my big brother. I had to learn how to become older than my older brother. All of the things I have learned since losing Macoy, I should not have had to learn at a young age. Now I must grow old without the one person who should’ve been there with me through it all. The pain I endure every day is unimaginable to most young adults or non-grievers, especially because I struggle behind my smile. Just as Macoy used to, I put on a happy face and try to make it through each day, sometimes each moment, but I struggle every day to keep going. It’s hard. A life without Macoy doesn’t seem worth living, but I keep pushing one day at a time. One moment at a time.
I am now 22 and I will get older, but it will never get any easier because Macoy will still be dead. Throughout the rest of my life, Macoy will be dead. I cannot change that, no one and nothing can, and the pain of that reality will never go away. It eats at me in different ways every day, and at different levels. Some days are worse than others, but all days are hard.
When I was thinking about my life in 2019, when it shattered on February 11th, I had to figure out so much. College, my career path, and my future, were/are all going to be wrong forever. I was looking to go back to school and could not find a grant or scholarship that was specifically available to Gold Star Siblings that could at least lighten the financial burden of college off me while I was and forever will be grieving. The one or two scholarships I was able to find were combat-only death requirements meaning Macoy was not included and I was not recognized as a Gold Star Sibling, but Macoy served our country just as those service members did.
Due to the lack of resources available for Gold Star Siblings, I decided to create Sienna’s Gold Star Sibling Grant. This will be specifically for Gold Star Siblings, regardless of the cause of death. I created this grant for the surviving siblings who are overlooked or forgotten. We need just as much support. I’m doing this because it is necessary and hasn’t been done before.
Every life saved through HicksStrong and life changed by this Grant, helps my heart heal, though it will never be the same, I will know I have made a difference.
⭐ Sienna Hicks - Gold Star Sibling, Co-Founder of HicksStrong and Macoy’s baby sis
My goal is to award $10,000 to 10 applicants every year starting in the Fall of 2023. As much as we can raise by April 15th each year is the amount, up to $10,000, that will be given out on Macoys birthday July 12th, every year.
The Grant will be funded solely by donations.
There is also a shop of Sienna Hicks Original, Hand-painted Canvases available for donations to help fund this Grant. Check out the shop when it is open.
We also have an Annual Art Auction that will help find the Grant. Pieces made by me and other artists will be auctioned at the event.
If you would like to donate handcrafted designs like canvases, drawings, sculptures, or other mediums, please email: [email protected]
Application opens: October 12th
Application deadline: April 15th
Award announcement: July 12th
CLICK TO APPLY NOW