Wingspan, Fall 2020
Students come to AACC with a drive to succeed. For many, that means balancing school work with one or more jobs while juggling family responsibilities. Even in the best of times this can be difficult, but COVID-19 added its own challenges.
For KyAnna Arrington, a pre-med student, an emergency dental procedure in early 2020 threw off her tuition payment schedule. “It got to be too much, but I wanted to keep taking classes and stay in good academic standing,” she said. The additional pressures of the COVID-19 crisis meant that her bills continued to pile up. That, in turn, made catching up go from difficult to impossible.
Arrington is not the only student to feel the financial strain from the pandemic. In spring 2020, HelpLink, the college’s emergency support fund for students, saw an increase of requests as students and their families faced job losses and unexpected medical expenses. As the number of students needing support increased, members of the community rallied to provide support. The AACC Foundation received numerous gifts this spring, including a $10,000 grant from a local family foundation that wishes to remain anonymous.
To Arrington, the community’s generosity made all the difference. She received a HelpLink grant which provided assistance for her medical bills and allowed her to continue her education. “Some people just need that extra helping hand,” she said. “Even though it may seem small, it really has a lasting impact on your life.”
Community support ensures that AACC’s commitment to students extends beyond the classroom. Thanks to the generosity of our neighbors, students like Arrington can find the resources they need to help complete their academic program and one day serve the community.