Phillip Sweigart, of Oman, won this year's $20,000 scholarship ($5,000 annually). Phillip has been a "Sonlighter" since Pre-K—13 years ago—completing well over eight History / Bible / Literature programs.
Two major distinctives set Phillip Sweigart apart and determine his path: the fact that this 17-year-old has achieved fluency in Arabic through diligent study and 15 years of living in Oman, and the fact that he’s determined to use his language skills and knowledge of the Middle East, not simply for the lucrative positions he might pursue, but also to serve the Arab world—the very place that’s been his home and among the people so close to his heart.
His essay, “In Search of a Cause” dealt with his desire to strategically use his God-given abilities and circumstances for the Kingdom. He hopes “through God’s help to shine His light into the world’s darkness.” He plans to pursue a strong university Arabic program to help him prepare for further service.
That’s right—further service. He has already been active in serving others by leading the worship band at his church, he taught English as a second language in Lebanon, tutored students in Algebra and Chemistry, painted houses and shared the Gospel in India, and still found time to serve as a Student Council Representative and member of his varsity basketball team.