The Margaret G. Baker Second Chance Award provides scholarships to women to assist with higher education and professional development expenses. The program’s mission is to help women whose education has been delayed or interrupted. Recipients must have a defined career goal. Awards range up to 2500.00 dollars.

Margaret G. Baker is the mother of MSK founder, Dr. Toni Alvarado. Ms. Baker completed her education late in life, achieving a Bachelor’s of Nursing. Margaret dropped out of high school and was a teen bride. By the time she was 21, she was a widow with four daughters to support. Her first job was as a nurse’s aide. Gradually over the years she got a GED, an associates, and then finally her bachelor’s degree, all the while advancing to become head nurse in the hospital where she had once been an aide. The Second Chance Award was created to honor her as a role model for other women.

Tracy Carson, 41, is the divorced mother of a six-year-old son. After her divorce, she knew she needed to improve her professional opportunities with additional education. She applied at Georgia Perimeter College, but was worried about taking out too many student loans and qualifying for financial aid. With one day’s notice, she applied and won the Second Chance Award.

“Winning the scholarship gave me the confidence that had been broken inside as well as the confidence to believe in myself again,” Tracy says. “I am happy to say that I am almost finished with a degree in communication at Georgia Perimeter and will be transferring to Tennessee State University afterwards. Something I didn’t think would ever happen to me. Not only did the award afford me the opportunity to go back to school but it also gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a degree at forty-one, divorced, and a single mom.”

Alice Marie Hutchinson is a future business owner and a doctoral student at Capella University. In 2009, she received a Second Chance Award that helped her pay tuition and buy books.

Alice says, “In 2009, I was looking for something different for my life, for my vision to be broadened, yet I felt there was still something missing. Not long after having this thought, a friend introduced me to My Sister’s Keeper where I became actively involved in the process for liberation, education, and redefinition of women from all walks of life.
As a result of being a part of this program my life’s mission began to unfold. I appreciate being honored with such a financial blessing.”

Participants in MSK’s Leadership and Life Coaching Program or the Single Mother’s Resources Exchange are eligible. Open enrollment is from late January to late early April. MSK has awarded nine women and has given over $10,000 in scholarships. Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll in an accredited degree or certificate program. The application includes questions about goals and current education status and requires 2 recommendations, a curriculum vitae, transcripts, and a description of how the award will be used.