Non-profit organization started in remembrance of Alcorn alumna

The mother of a fallen Alcorn State University alumna is carrying on her daughter's legacy with a foundation that supports others.

Caletha McCord, whose daughter Courtney McCord died in 2015, founded The Courtney E. McCord Foundation in Grayson, Georgia. Courtney, who was a Stone Mountain, Georgia native, earned a bachelor's degree in political science/pre-law in 2011. While a student, she was a Dean's Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholarship and ASU Foundation, Inc. Scholarship recipient, and a member of Phi Gamma Mu Honors Society.

The Foundation, which was established in May 2016, is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to executing McCord's mission of empowering education and maximizing academic potential among the youth of diverse backgrounds. The organization's mission is to provide young people with essential tools and resources that would prepare them to earn a quality college education.

McCord said that her daughter had a passion for serving the youth by providing opportunities that would lead to their success. For her, starting an organization in her honor is McCord's way of continuing her daughter's message.

"The education of our underserved communities was an area that Courtney was extremely passionate about," said McCord. I truly believe that if not for her untimely passing, this foundation is something that she would have brought to fruition. So this was a very easy decision as I feel that we are just carrying the torch for her."

The organization is staying true to its mission with its upcoming second annual scholarship gala Saturday, June 2. High school students will be awarded scholarships that will assist them in their educational pursuit. McCord finds comfort in providing opportunities to underserved students.

"It has been impactful in so many ways, but most importantly by accomplishing our core mission of providing young people with the required tools to accelerate their higher education experience regardless of their background or income level. In some cases, these are students who may be the first generation within their family to go to college, and as you know, there are so many ancillary costs associated with going to school. Knowing that we have the opportunity to change the trajectory for some families is an enriching experience." 

McCord sees a bright future ahead for the Foundation. As she reflects on her daughter's love for her alma mater, she hopes to one day help Alcorn in their recruitment efforts.

"We want to help as many young people as we can. Courtney cherished her Alcorn experience. I hope that as the foundation continues to grow, opportunities will develop where we can directly impact the Alcorn family as well."

For more information on The Courtney E. McCord Foundation, visit