Georgene Butler, Dean, Health Sciences Division
In the more than two decades that Dr. Georgene Butler has taught at Howard Community College (HCC), she has often seen students who struggle financially, but don’t necessarily meet the academic criteria to obtain competitive scholarships.
So years ago, Butler, dean of the health sciences division and professor in the nursing program, established the “Living the Dream – Butler Scholarship.”
“I wanted to open up opportunities for students that had need, but weren’t necessarily at the top of their class,” she said. “There have been some students where it made a difference in whether they could eat or pay their rent. I’ve seen scholarships make it possible for students to have books to study.”
Butler said people may assume that because the college is located in Howard County, that HCC students do not need financial support.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said. “Scholarships, grants, and financial aid in general give students opportunities to complete their educational goals.” In fact, annually, and average of over 40% of students receive some sort of financial aid.
There have been many success stories thanks to scholarships, she said. And it’s always rewarding to see students achieve their dreams.
“I believe that the scholarships actually help students realize their dream of whichever profession they choose, whether it’s nursing or our clinical programs, it helps them get there from here,” she said.
Butler said community colleges play a pivotal role in education, meeting the needs of so many, from high school students to adult learners who wish to change careers.
“We’re flexible,” she said. “You can get a certificate, achieve a credential. You can transfer. There are opportunities for lifelong learning.”
Community colleges provide affordability as well, giving scholarship recipients more bang for their buck.
“I feel really good in that the scholarship opportunity that I am able to provide can make an impact,” she said. “If they’re at this school, it’s affordable. At so many other institutions the cost is much higher, so the scholarship doesn’t have the same impact.”
Why give to HCC?
“Of course affordability and accessibility,” Butler said. “Also, the open door policy and open admissions we have at this school. And that’s really important. We can meet the needs for most everyone.”