Eliminating Barriers during COVID-19

The Foundation launched Project Persist at the start of the pandemic to provide a much-needed lifeline to struggling MCCC students. Since then, dozens of students persevered during a very challenging time to achieve their higher education dreams.

When MCCC was required to make a quick transition to on-line learning at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020, hundreds of students were faced with a variety of unforeseen challenges -- inadequate internet access, lack of computer equipment and software, unexpected job loss, medical bills and more.

 As MCCC faculty and staff, and most of our students, made the pivot to teaching and learning in this new environment, the Board of Directors of The Foundation at MCCC also responded quickly to the increasing need to support students. By launching the Project Persist initiative, The Foundation established new emergency funds to provide much needed short-term grants and scholarships to students in a timely manner, often in less than a week of a request being made.

Through Project Persist, in the Winter 2020 semester along, 66 students received one-time grants ranging from $200 - $1650 for things like internet access; new laptops; software, especially for nursing and welding students who normally would have taken assessments in labs on campus; and final tuition payments to help students complete the semester.

In much the same way, throughout the 2020-21 academic year, another 22 students facing financial difficulties, including continued unemployment, unexpected medical bills, food insecurity and childcare expenses, were helped as well.

A year since the onset of the COVID-19 emergency, 103 students have received aid through Project Persist, with $60,800 in awards being distributed to date as part of the college’s efforts toward eliminating barriers for our students. This is, of course, in addition to over $300,000 awarded annually by The Foundation in traditional scholarships.