I hope and pray that you, your family, and friends are safe and healthy.
COVID-19 is impacting and touching all of us in many similar ways but, at the same time, its effect is also different for each individual. At St. Augustine, this disease is striking our students and families in devastating ways. As you may know, many members of our Latino communities have limited education; only approximately 11% of us have a college education. Most of our people work in the service industry, hotels, and restaurants, which have been shut down due to COVID-19.
We have heard from students that both of their parents have been left without jobs. With nowhere to turn, they are suffering economically and mentally. At St. Augustine College, we are doing all we can in support of our people. We are now teaching online so that students can continue their education during this epidemic. Unfortunately, many of our students do not have computers. We had 25 old computers, so we repaired them and lent them to the students.
We are taking other actions to address specific problems.
- In the summer, we are going to give additional institutional scholarships to close the gap between what students receive as financial aid and other out-of-pocket costs so students will not have to pay tuition.
- We will allow students to take as many credit hours as they can when full-time students so they can finish their degrees as soon as possible, at no additional cost to them.
- We will start special certificate programs to retool the skills of people who lost their jobs to allow them to move to different careers.
- We will create a wellness center to provide mental support and other social services to students.
The need is massive, and that is why I am coming to you for help. I hope you will become an on-going supporter of St. Augustine College students. Today, more than ever, our students need your encouragement.
Areas of need:
- COVID-19 STUDENT RELIEF FUND. These funds will help us to assist our students in completing their education and retooling their skills to obtain another job and be able to provide for the livelihood of their families.
- ST. AUGUSTINE CARES UNDOCUMENTED STUDENT EMERGENCY FUND. Our ask is to donate and/or share this fundraiser with your networks so we can ensure that St. Augustine’s undocumented families have funds to support their education so that they can concentrate on paying bills, rent, buy groceries, seek medical care, etc.
- MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS FUND: Cada Mente Importa “Every Mind Matters” These funds will help us provide psychological support to our students. These funds support a crisis phone line to support members of the Hispanic community affected by the economic consequences of fighting COVID-19. The Wellness Center is staffed by part-time bilingual and bi-cultural faculty members trained in community mental health counseling.
Please consider donating any amount to a purpose of your choice.
You can donate directly at www.staugustine.edu/giving-to-sac or by sending a check to 1345 W. Argyle Street, Chicago, IL ATTN: Advancement, or making special arrangements with Margaret Wenzel by contacting her at Mwenzel@staugustine.edu.
Thank you for your consideration and your support.
And may our Lord protect you and your family.
Dr. Reyes Gonzalez