College students throughout Shasta, Trinity, and Tehama counties have struggled financially during the global pandemic. Many students had to choose between going to school, providing for their families, or staying home to raise and homeschool children. At the onset of the pandemic, The Shasta College Foundation developed the “Survive and Thrive” grant to help ease many students’ financial challenges. The need expressed by students was overwhelming! Since April 2020, the Foundation has distributed close to 700 awards totaling over $249,000 in direct student financial aid. The average award provided to students was around $250, with the highest award upwards of $1,000. In addition to this financial assistance, the Foundation provided 81 students with the gift of a new Chromebook to further enable them to continue their studies and graduate with a certificate or degree.
The “Survive & Thrive” student grant program received funding from the Shasta College Foundation and several private donors. In addition to these two sources, other organizations provided financial contributions, including the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Redding Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Northern California, Redding Electric Utility, the Shasta College Student Senate, the Phi Theta Kappa Beta Mu Mu Chapter, as well as many generous contributions from community members and Shasta College staff, faculty, and administrators. Thanks to rapidly securing and distributing funds and Chromebooks to students, the Shasta College Foundation applied for and was awarded several subsequent grants. These grants and ongoing donations have allowed the Foundation to continue to support students through the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 financially and emotionally impacted our students, some of them deeply, but they still kept showing up, or logging on, to class and working towards their educational goals,” said the Shasta College Foundation Executive Director, Eva Jimenez. “For so many students, even a $250 grant makes a difference between being able to feed their family or attend class. We’re just so grateful to the individuals and organizations in our community who stood up with us to help our students achieve their goals,” said Jimenez.
The Shasta College Foundation will continue to help students as they work to normalize their lives and pursue their higher educational aspirations. Anyone wanting additional information about the Survive and Thrive fund or the Foundation’s work can visit https://www.shastacollege.edu/about/shasta-college-foundation/.
In addition to the help and aid the Foundation provided to students during the pandemic, Shasta College also gave out over $2,484,000 in financial assistance to over 3,800 students from the Federal Emergency Funds (CARES Act and CRRSAA). In addition, the college also gave out $57,600 from State Emergency Funding (California Disaster Emergency Relief) in direct aid to students. To learn more, please visit www.ShastaCollege.edu/Foundation.