“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato
Every week, GCU staff member Katie* gets the names of students who are not doing well in class. It could be due to poor attendance, failure to hand in assignments, or not studying. She usually refers them to resources on campus and counsels them on how to better manage their course workload. It’s easy to assume we know their story.
When Katie received Mike’s* name from his professor—for not attending class and incomplete lab sections—she had no idea his story was unique. While reviewing his record, she saw that he had transferred from another university where he had been on a pre-med track and received excellent grades. All was well until he suffered a stroke, which severely limited his mobility. At their first meeting, Mike shyly explained that he was struggling to complete lab work because of the limited use of his hands. He was also increasingly absent from class because he relied on his mother to drive him to class, and she, too, had recently suffered a stroke.
Public transportation was not an option for Mike because he was unable to get on and off the bus freely. The cost of using a taxi service was too high. After hearing his story, Katie immediately contacted Access Link, which provides transportation services for those with a disability, and got him on the list for services. The only problem was the three-week wait for services to take effect.
The Angel Fund provided money for a taxi service to get Mike to and from class during the three weeks he had to wait for Access Link services to be effective. Katie also helped Mike’s professor arrange for a surrogate lab partner, who can help Mike complete the physical parts of his labs. Now, Mike is doing much better in his science classes, and he only needs a few more credits to complete his Bachelor of Science in Biology degree.
Georgian Court University was founded on the Mercy core values of respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service. In keeping with those values, the Angel Fund was established in 2009 to provide emergency funds for GCU students. The fund assists vulnerable students with basic needs and emergency support. The GCU community not only cares about students’ academic success, but also their personal success. Although amounts granted are not large, they are proof that if everyone is willing to do a little, together we can do a lot.
Approximately 30 students are assisted each year by the Angel Fund, and 210 students have been helped since its inception. The fund, which is only used for short-term emergency financial assistance, primarily provides assistance with textbooks/access codes, transportation, food over break for homeless students, medications, and clothing.
Unfortunately, Mike is not the only GCU student in need of special assistance. Make a gift today to help GCU students, like Mike, when they need it most.
*Name have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.