Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,189 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer Helps Save Former Teacher's Life by Finding Her a Kidney Donor
- The Best Photos from the Week of August 24- August 30, 2015
- FROM SI: Ronda Rousey Warns She Isn't a 'First Date Kind of a Girl'
- Author Apologizes for Saying Idris Elba Was 'Too Street' to Play James Bond
- Serayah on Being in Taylor Swift's Squad: 'It's Just a Bunch of Girls Hanging Out'
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- November 26, 2007
- Vol. 68
- No. 22
She Helped Send 1,800 Kids to College
Founder, Ethnic College Counseling Center
SHE DID IT HERSELF: When Pensal McCray's oldest daughter, Talia, was 16, she came home in tears after a high school counselor told the Denver honors student she didn't qualify for any college scholarships. Rather than listen to the misguided advice, McCray began searching for scholarships and grants on her own, poring over reference books, cold-calling colleges and even enlisting the help of the school custodian, who dug up scholarship forms in the trash. "I followed up on every lead," says the classical pianist, who eventually secured scholarships for all five of her children—two went on to medical school; another two received doctorates—before expanding her reach to Colorado-area teens. "This is my passion," says McCray.
SPREADING THE WORD: Since 1983 the former teacher has helped 1,800 minority students tap into scholarships to schools ranging from Morehouse College to Yale University. Starting out in her kitchen with her late husband, Christophe, then relocating to a nearby church, McCray counsels students on applications for a small fee, which helps cover the cost of taking students on a cross-country tour of black universities. Such commitment is "pretty rare," says Tracey Raiford of the Daniels Fund, which often grants scholarships to McCray's students. "Pensal is a total gem."
REALIZING DREAMS: "Mrs. McCray made everything attainable," says Angela LeDuff, 27, who won scholarships to Langston University in Oklahoma and now plans to attend graduate school. "She was like my second mother." Adds Bianka Emerson, 29, a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge: "Any time I was going through something in college, she would talk me through it. She's the ultimate mentor."
Know a hero? Send suggestions to HEROESAMONGUS@PEOPLEMAG.COM
September 01, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!