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Recent graduate student uses own scholarship fund to pay it forward

January 22, 2017
<p>Sherronia Dorsey-Walker graduated last December and created her own scholarship fund to help fellow MSU students. Photo courtesy of Dorsey-Walker.</p>

Sherronia Dorsey-Walker graduated last December and created her own scholarship fund to help fellow MSU students. Photo courtesy of Dorsey-Walker.

For Sherronia Dorsey-Walker, a Detroit native and Pershing High School graduate, her acceptance and journey to MSU was taken upon herself.

With her strong will to attend college and without help from her parents or anyone else, Dorsey-Walker took it upon herself to apply to different scholarships and raise money to attend university.

She applied to more than 60 scholarships and received a total of 16, the largest from MSU basketball great and fellow Detroit Pershing High School graduate, Steve Smith, through the Steve Smith Scholarship for Academic Achievement.

Dorsey-Walker received a total of $54,000 for her college education as the recipient of Smith’s scholarship gift. The scholarship is awarded to a Pershing High School senior focused on leadership and community service.

“I was the one who was accepted because I was very involved at Pershing High School. I was not only involved at Pershing, but in the community, too,” she said. “I was the well-rounded student that had everything that he (Steve Smith) was looking for in the scholarship recipient.”

Dorsey-Walker was selected to be part of the giving campaign at MSU, officially called the Empower Extraordinary Campaign.

With her involvement, she helped raise millions of dollars for scholarships for students to have an opportunity to study research or to help pursue other educational goals.

The campaign went on to tremendously help Dorsey-Walker, and she ended up drawing the attention of one professor who quickly decided to help put a scholarship in Dorsey-Walker’s own name.

Garth Motschenbacher, director of employer relations in the College of Engineering, saw Walker wanted to start her own scholarship and raise money.

Motschenbacher decided to help her create a fund. He donated the initial $500 toward her campaign and Dorsey-Walker raised $520 on her own for a total of $1,020 dollars for 2016-17 academic year.

This was the beginning of what became known as Sherronia’s Successful Scholarship Fund.

“The goal was basically to give back to a student who actually deserved a scholarship,” Dorsey-Walker said. “Even though it’s a small scholarship, I still wanted to be able to help someone else like someone did help me.I just wanted to encourage and inspire other people that, you know, don’t think that you can’t go to college with little to no help. I was able to raise scholarship funds for me to go to college as well.”

The recipient of her scholarship for last fall semester and current spring semester was human development and family studies senior Haley Durrant.

Durrant heard about Walker’s scholarship from other members of the major and was proud her hard work went noticed, she said via email.

“I felt that all of the work and dedication I put into school has been recognized, that made me feel very happy,” she said. “I will be using the ($500) to help pay for my trip to Honduras I will be taking this spring break, there I will be providing medical attention to those who would not receive it otherwise.”

Walker graduated last December in 2016 with a B.A. in human development and family studies and is currently in her master’s program at Southern New Hampshire University.

She said she hopes to continue to give out her scholarship every year to a student who works hard in school, is active in their academic career and gives back to their community.

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