Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) announced a grant of $15,000 to the Blinn College Foundation to assist Blinn students impacted by COVID-19. Currently enrolled students may apply for grants of up to $500 to meet financial needs caused by the pandemic, including technology to participate in online learning and assistance with paying for rent, utilities, and food.
“With so many sources of income and support vanishing overnight, GTF has jumped in with a big dose of help,” said Sam Sommer, Chair of the Blinn Foundation Board of Directors. “We are grateful to everyone involved in facilitating this grant.”
The award is the first grant from GTF’s new local fund. The Bryan-based foundation supports efforts across the state that increase the number of Texans who complete a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree. Its local fund is designated for organizations supporting postsecondary success for students in the Brazos Valley specifically.
“Although our work spans the entire state of Texas, we greatly appreciate the Bryan-College Station community, where Greater Texas Foundation was established and where we are headquartered today,” said Ralph Rushing, Board Chair for GTF. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support local students facing unexpected barriers to their education during this incredibly challenging time.”
Research by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice indicates many college students face financial instability even under normal circumstances. In a 2019 national survey conducted by the center, 39% of student respondents experienced food insecurity within the past month, and 46% experienced housing insecurity within the past year.
The current pandemic exacerbated those difficulties. According to a survey by the Texas Association of Community Colleges, more than half of Texas community college students lost income or employment due to COVID-19, and 73% say they would have difficulty acquiring $500 in cash or credit in the next month.
The grant from GTF extends Blinn’s ability to serve students in need and help them remain on track to completing their degree. Blinn students can apply for emergency aid at foundation.blinn.edu. Those interested in contributing to Blinn College’s emergency aid fund may contact the Blinn College Foundation for more information.