Students remain grateful despite reception cancellations

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Scholarships

Hinds students won’t have a chance this fall to say “thank you” in person to the donors of their scholarships. The annual Scholarship Receptions have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has cancelled many other events.

“This is distressing to us because the Scholarship Receptions are our favorite events of the year,” said Robyn Burchfield, Hinds Community College Foundation specialist.

At last year’s September Scholarship Reception, nursing student April Lawler, who received the D.G. “Sonny” Fountain Scholarship, met the Fountain family and thanked them personally for funding her award.

“They were so kind, and they wanted to get to know each one of the recipients,” Lawler said. “The Fountains asked each of us questions about our future and what we wanted to pursue. also enjoyed getting to see all the donors interact with their recipients. I will definitely miss being able to go to this reception and getting to thank the Fountains in person for allowing me to be on this scholarship.”

The need for donors to support the Hinds Community College Foundation and student scholarships is even greater than before because of the dire situation many students are in.

“Any funds are greatly appreciated and will be used to help our students during these stressful times,” said Jackie Granberry, executive director of the Hinds Community College Foundation.

The Foundation did receive some student emergency relief funds in the spring from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation, which allowed assistance to students who faced severe needs for food, utilities and technology. Hinds received $20,000 along with the other 14 community colleges.

“We have many students who were already facing challenges prior to COVID-19,” Granberry said. “These funds were a financial help but also an emotional help – just knowing there are people who care about them.”

Faith Gates of Brandon was one of the students who benefited.

“I feel truly blessed that I was chosen,” she wrote in a thank you letter in May. “This pandemic has many of us in situations that have been detrimental to our lives and rendered us vulnerable. Receiving this gift alleviates some of my turmoil and grants me the opportunity to pay my internet bill and purchase essential items for myself and two sons.”

Kyla Howard said the funds “helped pay bills to keep lights on in my home and have groceries. I am truly grateful.”

Destiny Jones was living in an extended stay motel with her mother, but did not want to let financial hardships keep her out of fall classes. The Woodward Hines money helped her with the resources she needed to return to classes. “I knew being in school would help me feel much better because I would be doing something productive to better myself,” she said.

If you wish to set up a scholarship or just help a student during these times, please consider a gift to the Hinds Community College Foundation. Call the Foundation Office at 601-857-3630.

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