Donor-funded President’s Emergency Fund aids students in times of need

By Mount Mary University

Posted on May 19, 2021

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Vonisha Guy wanted to stay in school. As a single mother of five, she knew getting her degree in social work from Mount Mary would help her provide for her family. Life was already a juggling act with MMU classes, working second or third shift and her kids’ schedules. Then COVID-19 hit.

Like the rest of the world, Guy hadn’t planned on a pandemic. She hadn’t planned on being out of work, either. Due to the shut-downs and the fact that her children would be learning from home, she had to make the tough decision to leave her job.

While out of work, Guy struggled. She knew staying in school was the best decision she could make but as bills piled up and her car was in need of repairs, she wondered how she was going to make ends meet. That’s when she learned about Mount Mary University’s President’s Emergency Fund.

The President’s Emergency Fund offers assistance to Mount Mary students who are suffering from unexpected financial hardships so they are able to meet basic needs and stay in school. Funds are used to help with whatever is needed from basics like food, medicine and feminine hygiene products to bigger expenses such as rent, child care and transportation.

Since COVID-19 struck in March of 2020, the President’s Emergency Fund has become a lifeline for many MMU students. The fund has awarded over $60,000 of assistance over the past 12 months to 46 students who needed it to stay afloat.

These funds have helped students like Guy continue their schooling.
“This award really helped me stay in school and made it so I didn’t have to take out more loans,” she said.

During this past year of unprecedented struggle, the need has risen significantly. Although things are slowly turning around, Mount Mary wants to make sure we continue to support students so they can stay in school and complete their goals of graduating. With 55% of Mount Mary students coming from low-income backgrounds, there is always a need.

Like Guy, COVID-19 has certainly affected many Mount Mary students and their families, and our President’s Emergency Fund has made the difference in multiple cases in people keeping their living arrangements and feeding their children.

Today, Guy has a new job using her skills and experience and recently received a promotion. She’ll be graduating in December with a degree in Social Work. She attributes the support she received from the President’s Emergency Fund with keeping her in school.

Thanks to the generosity of this community, she knows that she has a support system at Mount Mary, and that she isn’t alone.