Southwestern College announced on Monday it will use two grants totaling $135,000 to help students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic complete their semesters online and secure much-needed housing, food and other necessities.
The grants awarded by the San Diego Foundation will allow the college to purchase and distribute computers and wifi hotspots, in addition to helping students take care of day-to-day needs.
Southwestern College said that by combining $75,000 in grant funding from the San Diego Foundation with other funding sources, the college will have the means to distribute 1,030 computers for remote learning needs.
"All students, regardless of economic status, need access to a computer and internet to improve their educational opportunities and ultimately, their futures," said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. "With the current crisis now requiring students to learn at home, it's more important than ever that we provide technology resources to children and young adults who will struggle to continue their education without these vital tools."
The other grant for $60,000 was earmarked for the SWC Cares Emergency Fund, which provides money to Southwestern students in need of assistance due to unforeseen financial emergencies, which the school states is needed more than ever due to COVID-19-related job losses and other strains on students' everyday lives.
"Many Southwestern College students are already at the brink of financial emergencies," said Superintendent/President Kindred Murillo. "The restrictions placed upon everybody because of COVID-19 have caused many of our students to lose their jobs and sources of income. These awards help us give hope and encouragement to our students."