Haywood Community College recognizes that student needs have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, has launched the HCC Cares campaign. Through this campaign, the College strives to increase awareness of available support through student emergency funding. Recently, the HCC Foundation received a Community Foundation of Western North Carolina Fund for Haywood County Grant to be used as a supplement to the College’s existing Lavender Fund. This $5,000 grant will provide emergency assistance to HCC students.
“In this season of uncertainty,” explains HCC President Dr. Shelley White, “we are excited to offer HCC Cares as an extension of our emergency funds for students. We know many have experienced job loss and increased expenses, understandably making school less of a priority. We believe that HCC Cares is one way to help reduce the anxiety of the times we are facing together and help students stay engaged.”
During this time, students may face challenges that would require assistance to overcome a crisis involving the need for funds for food, gas, housing, utilities or childcare. The goal of assisting students with these needs is to keep students on track to complete the semester and achieve their educational goals. When students encounter an unforeseen issue, it can be difficult for them to overcome the crisis and often will negatively affect their ability to attend classes. Without higher education credentials, finding a job that pays family-sustaining wages can be challenging.
Jon Overbay, HCC Foundation Board Chair says, “By making these funds available, the Foundation wants to reiterate that we are going to do everything we possibly can to support our students, and help them reach their educational goals. Hopefully this will help alleviate some of the outside stress brought on by this crisis, and allow them to continue to focus on their education.”
The grant funds from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina Fund for Haywood County will be combined with funds raised from individuals and other organizations to address these needs. Through the Lavender Fund, which was established at HCC in 2016 from a generous matching gift donation, 45 students were assisted during the 2018-19 academic year. The fund provided more than $13,400 in assistance to students, 97% of which were able to complete their studies successfully.
For more information about HCC Cares, visit https://www.haywood.edu/financial-aid/scholarships and scroll past the scholarship information.