COLUMBUS, Miss. -- The coronavirus pandemic continues to directly and indirectly affect the lives of so many individuals, including recent graduates of Mississippi University for Women who are transitioning from college life into the real world.
The W has partnered with the United Way of Lowndes & Noxubee to battle the ripple effects created by the global health emergency. Funds are now being collected for a particularly vulnerable population—graduating seniors who are international students.
Dwight Doughty, coordinator for international student services and admissions at The W, explained there are currently 1 million F and M visa students studying in the United States.
“Each college and university is facing the challenge of offering assistance during this unprecedented time. Our international students are an essential part of our university and community,” he said. “The W and United Way’s partnership will help assure that our scholars remain sheltered and healthy throughout the summer transition. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those in need.
Over the past few weeks, the university and community have worked together to connect students with as many resources available to them.
W President Nora Miller said, “The federal CARES grants will help many of our students cover the additional expenses they have incurred as a result of the disruption to campus operations. Currently enrolled students can apply for student emergency funds to provide assistance. We are so thankful that the United Way is working with us to help some of our international students who just graduated and are not eligible for these other resources.”
Dr. Erin Kempker, chair of the Department of History, Political Science, & Geography and professor of history, has worked closely with the international students.
She said, “These students are in dire need of support. So many students and their families are struggling right now, however these students do not have access to the lifelines that most students utilize in a crisis, like FAFSA loans and federal work study.
“They are highly successful students and many have graduate programs to start this fall, but surviving the summer will mean getting help with food, rent and utilities. Contributions are needed to ensure that they can successfully make the transition.”
Renee Sanders, executive director for United Way of Lowndes & Noxubee, added, “The United Way organization all over the country are answering the call during these unprecedented times. It’s what we do, it’s who we are. The United Way of Lowndes & Noxubee is local and is here to address the immediate needs of our community. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the solution.”
Your gift to the fund will provide direct assistance to those who find themselves in particularly difficult circumstances during this time.
Individuals who are interested in making a donation, should visit United Way’s website at www.uwlc-ms.org and click DISASTER.