Harper College will be closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 17. Remote instruction will be extended through the first two weeks of the semester. On-campus offices are closed and student services are being provided virtually through January 29. In-person classes and services will resume January 31. The Health and Recreation Center remains open. Learn more

Michelé Smith, BJ Lawrence Future Educators Founding Scholarship Donor


Prior to becoming a college administrator, I served as a faculty member at Harper College. In that role, I witnessed early childhood education students in need of scholarship monies in order to afford the cost of college. Students in our program expressed gratitude for scholarships and shared stories with me about how they would not have been able to complete the program had it not been for a scholarship.  These experiences encouraged me to contribute to some existing scholarships on campus. When I decided to create a scholarship on my own, I knew that the money would be a benefit to students in a very tangible and meaningful way.

 "When I decided to create a scholarship on my own, I knew that the money would be a benefit to students in a very tangible and meaningful way."

- Michelé Smith

This scholarship was named for my mother, Bettye J. Lawrence.  As a mother of four small children, my mother attended a local community college to earn her Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate.  She was determined to do better for her family, and she encouraged all of her children to pursue an education.  She would regularly say to us, “Be sure to get your education. It is the one thing that no one can ever take from you.”  I would like the recipients of this scholarship to know that their scholarship is named after a person that is tenacious, inspirational, and values education.   

As an employee of Harper College, I believe that Harper gives me the opportunity to give back to others.  Therefore, Harper means opportunity to me.  It means an opportunity for our students to learn; an opportunity for families in our community to move out of poverty; an opportunity to transform lives.    

I want this scholarship to give students peace of mind.  I hope the recipients gain the ability to focus on their studies without having to worry about how they will pay for books, materials, or any other basic needs. I hope the recipients gain a chance to realize their full potential because the scholarship has eliminated or reduced the financial barriers or road bumps they may have faced without it. 

Thank You

Thank you for being a part of the movement to support Harper students as they realize their dreams. Learn more about scholarships at Harper College at the Harper College Educational Foundation website

Last Updated: 11/3/21