HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Community College (HCC) Foundation has received a second grant in as many months to help students facing financial emergencies because of COVID-19.
In its latest round of grants, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awarded $40,000 to HCC from its COVID-19 Relief Fund. In July, the Community Foundation awarded the HCC Foundation $35,000. All $75,000 went into the President’s Student Emergency Fund, which is managed by the HCC Foundation.
“Every week, we are seeing more and more applications from students in need of emergency support,” said Amanda Sbriscia, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation. “Each student applicant hopes to begin the fall semester on the right foot, and it’s our job to keep them focused on their academic success.”
Thanks to the Community Foundation’s first grant to HCC, 67 students received emergency funding with an average disbursement of $522. Already, in the past two weeks, 15 additional students have received emergency aid.
“We anticipate disbursing the full $40,000 to students in need before the end of September,” Sbriscia said.
Typically, students request help paying for basic needs, such as food, rent, utilities, childcare, and transportation.
“Relief Fund dollars are making it possible for HCC students throughout our region to achieve their educational goals,” Sbriscia said. “I’m so grateful to the Community Foundation for enabling us to respond to our students with good news. This funding tells them, ‘your community is here for you, and we’re committed to your success.’”