The Highline College Foundation recently launched a ‘COVID-19 Student Support Fund’ in an effort to raise money to help Highline College students financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March, Highline College has received an increase in requests for emergency assistance funding to support individual students. Many of these students have been laid off, had their work hours drastically cut and/or find themselves in need of expensive childcare while public schools remain closed.
“COVID-19 has adversely affected our students,” said Laquita Fields, a WorkFirst coordinator/advisor within Highline’s Women’s Programs and WorkFirst Services. “I’m receiving messages, such as they need to drop or reduce credits, that this would impede their graduation, and they’re asking for certain things such as help with utilities, help with food and help with books.”
Some students are forced to make the difficult decision to pay for their education, and a chance at a better life, or basic needs to get them through the month.
But with a goal to raise $100,000, the Highline College Foundation hopes to help alleviate some of that burden. Thanks to a generous $25,000 grant from College Spark Washington, a donation from the Rotary Club of Des Moines and Normandy Park and multiple individual donations, the Foundation has already raised $35,000.
“One of the many things I love about being on the Foundation Board of Directors is experiencing the generosity of our community,” said Foundation Board Chair Sheri Keller. “The donations to Highline’s COVID-19 Student Support Fund are allowing us to provide emergency funds to students who are faced with the decision to pay for everyday essentials or stay in school. Students who are able to remain enrolled have a greater chance of completing their programs, which will enable them to become more qualified for career paths, take better care of themselves and their families, and contribute back to the college and community at large. Talk about paying it forward!”
The Highline College Foundation was established in 1972 as a nonprofit corporation to receive and invest community contributions that support students, educational programs and services of the college. It distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in scholarship money and regularly funds emergency assistance requests.
“I extend my gratitude to the Foundation and to each person who’s donated to this fund,” said Highline College President John Mosby. “Your support will help our students stay in college during a time when it’s not only hard to survive, but thrive.”