Education scholarship to help students become teachers in Akron


The University of Akron’s (UA) LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education is on the rise to become a top school to produce urban educators, thanks in part to a newly established scholarship program that provides full tuition for future teachers in Akron Public Schools.

Jaysean Davis

Jaysean Davis, a recent graduate of Buchtel Community Learning Center, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Harrington Scholarship. The scholarship, which was established this year, is awarded to a recent graduate of Akron Public Schools who is directly admitted into the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education and wishes to become a teacher in Akron Public Schools.

“I am very honored to be named the inaugural Harrington Scholar,” said Davis. “I feel blessed and grateful to have an opportunity to go to college without worrying about the burden of financial aid or affording college tuition.”

The Harrington Scholarship program is administered by UA and will provide one full-tuition and fees scholarship each year. The “Harrington Scholar” must remain a student majoring in a degree program within the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education to receive the tuition award. The scholarship is named after the late Madge W. Harrington, a 1926 and 1927 graduate of UA’s School of Education. 

“The Harrington Scholarship program reaffirms The LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education’s commitment to providing opportunities for those who wish to become talented and passionate teachers in an urban school district,” says Dr. Lisa Lenhart, professor and interim director of the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education. “We are excited to offer the inaugural Harrington Scholarship to Jaysean Davis.”

An aspiring future educator

Davis, 19, of Akron, participated in a number of extracurricular activities and organizations throughout his high school career, including Junior Leadership Akron; president of Phi Delta Kappa’s Kudos program, a guidance group for students in grades nine-12; student ambassador and student council at Buchtel CLC; Buchtel CLC Teachers Academy; Buchtel Talon Newspaper and yearbook staff; and a national member of Educators Rising.

“My aspiration as a teacher is to try to make each of my students succeed in life,” says Davis. “When I worked with students during field experiences in a program called Education Professions and Leadership, I started to understand that each child I was helping learned differently. I realized that some students might not reach their full potential because of the way they’re taught.”

“In so many ways, Jaysean makes the Buchtel community so proud,” says Nicole Hughes, campus principal of Buchtel Community Learning Center and a member of the Harrington Scholar selection committee. “He represents many of the hardworking, ambitious and bright students that flourish in Akron Public Schools. Jaysean's passion for social justice and educational equity is exactly the civic sentiment we want to see in our next generation of leaders. We look forward to the impact he will have on our community and schools in the future.”

Madge W. and F. Theodore Harrington

Madge W. Harrington and her late husband, F. Theodore Harrington, who graduated from UA’s College of Engineering and Polymer Science, valued education and the art of teaching, so much so that they wanted to invest in education as a way to honor future generations. More than three decades ago, the Harringtons bequeathed their estate to UA and established The M.W. Harrington Education Professorship Fund in Education and the F.T. Harrington Engineering Professorships Fund. The Harrington Scholarship in Education is a component to the Madge W. Harrington Professorship in the School of Education.

Requirements for scholarship

Applicants, who apply at the end of their senior year of high school, must have a 3.0 grade-point average to be eligible for the scholarship and maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the course of their college careers. Applications are reviewed by a scholarship committee comprised of faculty members from the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education and Akron Public Schools teachers and administrators.

An award is made at the beginning of each academic year. There is no specific amount that will be awarded as the “last dollar” scholarship is designed to bridge the gap between a recipient’s financial aid situation and the total cost of tuition, fees, food, and room and board. 

Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or