Your vote can make a $25,000 difference for students at Ohio’s Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).
The college’s student emergency fund is one of 200 national finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant program, which benefits nonprofits making a difference in their communities. The State Farm program awards $25,000 grants to 40 different organizations selected by an online public vote.
Voting opened Wednesday and closes on August 23. Visit www.tri-c.edu/give to vote.
Tri-C’s student emergency fund helps students overcome unforeseen financial challenges with the potential to derail their studies. Students can receive up to $450 to help them get through tough times.
A pair of new glasses and a few bills
Last year, the fund helped 125 students. One of those was Rebecca McAdow.
A car crash the day before Thanksgiving left McAdow with a broken left ankle, cracked ribs and a body full of bruises. The violent impact also left her with a pair of mangled eyeglasses — no small issue given her course load at Tri-C.
Money from the emergency fund covered the cost of new glasses plus a few other bills for McAdow, who is raising two children with her husband. She didn’t miss a day of school despite the injuries.
“The student emergency fund made it easier for my family to push through,” said McAdow, 44. “It helped keep me going.”
McAdow earned an associate of science degree from Tri-C this summer, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. She plans to transfer to the University of Akron to study dietetics and nutrition.
McAdow’s story reflects the reason behind the emergency fund, said Megan O’Bryan, president of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, which oversees the fund.
“Life can throw some serious obstacles in front of students,” O’Bryan said. “Money from the emergency fund could be the difference between a student dropping classes or continuing toward graduation.”
Examples of emergencies covered by the fund include: aid following fires or floods; childcare situations; medical issues; car repairs; food assistance; and other situations. Tri-C students needing assistance are referred to the dean’s office for review.
Tri-C launched the fund in 2017 with grant support through the David and Inez Myers Foundation.
From a pool of great causes
A State Farm review committee selected the Tri-C’s student emergency fund as a finalist for the 2019 grant program. The committee reviewed 2,000 applications from organizations serving a wide array of interests, from at-risk students to veterans groups.
People may vote for their cause up to 10 times a day for 10 days after submitting a qualifying email address. Winners will be announced on September 25. A live leaderboard shows which projects are securing the most votes.