GREENFIELD — In response to the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenfield Community College (GCC) has introduced a scholarship to support frontline and essential workers in their education. The award allows recipients to attend GCC tuition- and fee-free for up to three years of full- or part-time study.
The Frontline & Essential Workers Scholarship was conceived last summer in conversations among GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernández; Regina Curtis, executive director of Institutional Advancement and the GCC Foundation; and Linda Desjardins, director of Financial Aid.
“The COVID crisis left a lot of our students in precarious positions. Community-college students tend to be adults, and often parents, working full-time while going to school, and we recognized that a lot of our students were frontline workers at care homes, medical settings, grocery stores, etc.,” Desjardins said. “We wanted to do something that acknowledged their dedication and sacrifice and the hurdles that they had to overcome in order to remain students.”
The expenditures for the scholarship for this academic year are $16,227, and the total cost over three years will be approximately $50,000. The scholarship is primarily funded by GCC’s financial-aid resources, with the help of Big Y World Class Markets.
“At Big Y, we are passionate about education and providing tools and resources for our employees and the communities that we serve,” said Charlie D’Amour, president and CEO. “Especially during this pandemic, the opportunity to advance the educational opportunities for frontline workers is a part of our ongoing mission to support our communities.”
Four students received the Frontline & Essential Workers Scholarship in the 2020-21 academic year: two Big Y employees, one ETM, and one Target employee.