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Paying it Forward by Investing in People

“Thanks to the Steve Smith Scholarship I am doing what I love which is helping others.”

Paying it Forward by Investing in People

Sherronia Dorsey-Walker loves to help others. And being a Spartan is enabling her to do exactly what she loves.

Sherronia is a junior studying social work at MSU thanks to the Steve Smith/Pershing High/MSU Scholarship for Academic Achievement.

Right now, she is the coordinator of two teen leadership programs, the founder of Successful Sister’s Mentoring Program and the Teen Room supervisor at the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing.

When she graduates she hopes to volunteer in the Peace Corps. She wants to be a family advocate, representing families in the legal system and providing counseling. Her ultimate goal is to become the CEO of a program similar to the Boys and Girls Club.

As a first generation college student, she also says she is proud to be able to introduce college to her younger siblings.

“I am doing what I love which is helping others, taking advantage of education, and giving back what was given to me,” she says. “I am so blessed that I received Steve Smith’s scholarship, because it helped me financially, professionally and academically.”

Steve Smith attended MSU from 1987-91, where he became a First Team All-American basketball player and went on to a 14-year career in the NBA. In 1997, Steve donated $2.5 million—at the time, the largest gift a professional athlete had ever made to his or her alma mater—to construct the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Center at MSU in honor of his late mother.

A portion of his gift also created a scholarship for students at his former high school: Detroit Pershing as well as other Detroit high schools. Steve has made subsequent gifts to the scholarship fund (which is now endowed), including a $600,000 gift in 2001. The endowment provides significant support for high-achieving students like Sherronia to attend Michigan State.

“After graduation I plan to join the Peace Corps  then I will return to Michigan to pursue my master’s degree in social work,” says Sherronia. “My ultimate goal is to make an investment in other people so they succeed—just like the investment that was made in me.”

Steve’s example has inspired his young recipient to do some giving back of her own. Watch her story to see how.