A-B Tech Foundation Awarded $35,000 to Assist Students Impacted by COVID-19
The A-B Tech Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Walnut Cove Members Association’s (WCMA) Coronavirus Emergency Grant Fund and $25,000 from the SEH Tabitha Foundation. The funds will go directly to the Jan and Dennis King Student Emergency Fund to help students with housing security, living expenses, education and job training.
“Many students have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 as they work in the hospitality, restaurant, and tourism industry,” said Amanda Edwards, Executive Director of A-B Tech College Advancement. “The current directive to delay issuing eviction orders does not mean that students do not have to pay rent, just that they are not to be evicted right now.”
Over the last month, there were 29 requests to A-B Tech’s Student Emergency Fund totaling more than $12,000. Fifty-eight percent of those requests were for rent and utility bills up from 11 percent the previous academic year. Funds from the WCMA grant will be used for any emergency needs except food.
“The Foundation has raised funds from Board members, Trustees and friends of the College over the last two weeks,” Edwards said. “These emergency requests already surpass the amount of funds raised and the Foundation is supplementing that balance with limited resources.”
While A-B Tech was able to transition 96 percent of its curriculum classes online in only two weeks, several occupational programs that require "hands-on" training have been temporarily suspended until students can complete classwork in person, thereby delaying their opportunity to graduate and obtain employment.
“When students are able to go back to work, and hopefully are able to find gainful employment, the need for emergency funds will level out or decrease,” said Edwards. “But right now, the most vulnerable students are coping with the possibility of withdrawing from their education, the one thing that is their best chance for overcoming the financial setbacks they are facing today.”