K-State Proud is prepared to meet the emergency needs of students

Despite campus closure, K-State Proud is still reviewing student award applications. (Archive Photo by Hannah Hunsinger | Collegian Media Group)

With the spread of COVID-19 nationwide, students face financial hardship as many businesses close or temporarily lay off employees. In addition to the Student Emergency Grant and Emergency Student Loans available, there is funding available through K-State Proud in the form of Student Opportunity Awards.

“K-State Proud is K-State’s premier student philanthropy, led by the leaders of Student Foundation,” Sydney Henry, K-State Proud vice president of communications, said. “Over the past 13 years, we have raised over $1.36 million for Student Opportunity Awards to help more than 800 students stay at K-State who otherwise would not have been able to continue their education.”

Despite the closure of campus, the SOA committee is still meeting weekly via Zoom.

“We are continuing to review applications and award students during this time,” SOA chair and senior in chemical engineering Max Meyer said. “Most importantly, SOAs are still here as a resource for students who need it.”

In the event that more applications are filed with K-State Proud, the committee is ready to speed up the award process.

“If we had a large increase in applications, we would definitely be able to meet more frequently,” Henry said. “At this point, there isn’t anything we have found that we can do that is extra besides award students the amount of money that the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the allocations committee deems to be reasonable given the circumstances. Each case is taken under consideration with all the circumstances so the struggles of a student are recognized when reviewing the application no matter the time.”

Ella Bahr, K-State Proud director of volunteer engagement and junior in life science, said the recurring success of K-State Proud’s fundraising events contributes to K-State’s ability to maintain the “family” image that the university brands itself on.

“When life or unforeseen circumstances get in the way, K-State Proud is there for students to help them with the financial means to continue their education,” she said. “I love how tangible the results of our efforts are, as we can show exactly how many students have been able to continue their education due to our organization.”