Foundation’s grant to help MCC students impacted by COVID-19

Meridian Community College is one of 15 Mississippi public community colleges selected to receive a grant to assist qualifying students who are affected by COVID-19 to help stay on track for graduation.

The Mississippi Community College Foundation was granted $310,000 from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) to help qualifying Mississippi community college students impacted by COVID-19 stay on track towards graduation. MCC's portion is $20,000 of the grant funds.

“These are difficult times for students who are trying to adjust to the many personal and educational challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Dr. Ronnie Nettles, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Foundation. “We are delighted to partner with the Woodward Hines Education Foundation to help these students.”

“We know that many of Mississippi’s community college students are already vulnerable to unexpected financial hurdles,” said Jim McHale, WHEF president and CEO. “We viewed this as an emergent opportunity to provide immediate financial support to Mississippi’s two-year college students impacted by COVID-19, so they would not be forced to put their education on hold for financial reasons.”

The grant will establish student relief funds at all 15 Mississippi community colleges. Money can be used to help students – including MCC students - with unanticipated financial emergencies caused by the pandemic. Possible examples may include internet access stipend, technology equipment, exam fee, credential fee, e-books.

An application form is available at the MCC website address meridiancc.edu/whefund/

MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner explained the Woodward Hines Foundation has had a significant impact on MCC students for many years and College officials are grateful.

“We can’t forget that, for many students, the difference between success and failure is an open door and an opportunity. The generous donation from our friends at Woodward Hines may be exactly what some students need to get their feet back on the ground and move forward with opportunities that will transform their families and this community,” Dr. Huebner said.

The award is not the first time WHEF has provided financial support to Mississippi’s community colleges. WHEF has awarded $490,000 to the international academic honor organization for the community and junior college Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to provide membership scholarships to high-achieving but underserved community college students.

“I am grateful to the Woodward Hines Education Foundation for their continued commitment to education and specifically to Mississippi’s community colleges,” said Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board. “COVID-19 has impacted the lives of our students and their families in so many ways. This grant will help ease the stress so students can continue to focus on their education.”

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