Planned giver Katherine Harrelson didn't have to graduate from North Carolina A&T State University to see its impact.
"I lived in Greensboro during the sit-ins and I understand N.C. A&T's impact on young people and the important role it serves in Greensboro, the Triad area and throughout North Carolina," she said.
Harrelson's planned gift is a whole life insurance policy valued at $35,000. The university is the owner and beneficiary of the policy but she is making the monthly payments. The money will be used to fund an existing endowment for student scholarships.
"A&T acts as a caretaker, it helps to ensure that all students who want to succeed, will," Harrelson said.
Harrelson took some courses at A&T and later got involved with a group called Leadership Connections that connects young, at-risk women with professionals.
"I have stayed involved in this program, because I believe that community service teaches a set of values, which is important for our young people to learn," she said.
A scholarship fund was created on Harrelson's behalf by the young women from the Leadership Connections program and it is that kind of initiative by those women that prompted Harrelson to give to the university.
"I appreciated what they had done for me and I wanted to participate in their endeavor," Harrelson said.
This gift to the university allows Harrelson to be an example to the young women she helps by showing them that all people who contribute don't have to be wealthy.
"I did it to show that people from middle income families can participate as philanthropists without doling out large sums of money all at once," she said.
Harrelson said her commitment to teaching the young women of the program about giving back is all a part of her personal priorities.
"You have to understand your personal priorities, mine is to make sure children are educated."