As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many University of Wisconsin-Platteville students are finding themselves facing mounting financial challenges. But in a show of Pioneer spirit, many alumni, friends, faculty and staff have already stepped in to help. Created in 2019, the Pioneers Helping Pioneers fund provides emergency financial support to students with unexpected expenses, outside of tuition. When a call for assistance went out to alumni, friends, faculty and staff last week, more than $5,500 was raised for the fund in only a few days, with donations continuing to come in.
According to Laura Franklin, executive director for UW-Platteville’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, this support can make a huge impact in a student’s ability to continue their education.
“There are very few students who haven’t been directly or indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the response to our emergency grant program has been overwhelming,” said Franklin. “Unfortunately, a tremendous number of students have been unexpectedly laid off. This makes it very difficult for them to meet their basic needs of rent, utilities and food. Other students have the sudden need for updated technology and internet access. We have a strong desire to assist students in meeting their basic needs so that they can continue to focus on the pursuit of their education.”
“When asked to step up for our students during a challenging time, UW-Platteville alumni and friends did,” said Joshua Boots, assistant vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Engagement at UW-Platteville. “They were asked to help our students and immediately did so. We are so fortunate to have so many thoughtful, caring Pioneers among us."
To donate to the Pioneers Helping Pioneers fund, visit www.uwplatt.edu/alumni.