Minda Honor Her Mother

 MACOMB, IL – A scholarship, endowed by a Western Illinois University alumna to honor her mother, will not only help women of color with educational expenses, but is offering the added benefit of mentorship to the student recipients.

Minda Honor Her Mother

Minda Harts, a 2003 WIU graduate with a degree in communication, made a five-year pledge to the University in 2017, to create the scholarship and endow it. The scholarship is in honor of her mother, Marchet Harts, a 2004 graduate of WIU, with a general studies degree.

Minda wanted to create the scholarship to honor her mother, who sought a higher education degree later in life, and who is now a preschool teacher in northern Illinois.

The Marchet Harts Communication Scholarship Award For Women of Color provides $500 per semester for a woman of color, who is an incoming freshman or a transferring junior. The student should have expressed interest in or is majoring in communication, and will write a one-two page essay on their career aspirations, including how they plan to give back to WIU after graduating.

Minda announced the scholarship to the University and to her mother when she delivered the keynote address during the 2017 Department of Communication Career Preparation Day.

"She was super surprised and grateful," said Minda. "I just want her legacy to live on. This scholarship is important to me because when I was a student, there were times I was struggling to pay for certain things. I want to help the next generation remove barriers so money is not an obstacle."

The scholarship award includes a promise that Minda will serve as a mentor to all scholarship winners, which includes at least one phone call and one video call per semester.

"I want to model what philanthropy looks like," she said. "Access to mentorship can be limited. Black and brown students tend to be first generation college students and I want to be a role model."

Minda began her career in sales and fundraising campaigns. She is the founder of The Memo LLC, a career development company for women of color. In 2016, she was nominated as a Change Maker at The White House State of Women Summit. She conducts workshops and keynotes across the country and has been featured in several magazines, including Forbes, Essence, The Guardian and The Huffington Post.

This month, she released her third book, "You Are More Than Magic: The Black and Brown Girls' Guide to Finding Your Voice."

The scholarship recipients will be chosen by a committee within the WIU Department of Communication, based on Minda's criteria.

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