Student Crisis Fund Impacts Lives

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The Future Ready Iowa initiative acknowledges that in 2018, seven out of 10 jobs in the state will require less than a bachelor’s degree. This is a major reason Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) emphasizes to students the importance of completing a one- or two-year degree or Career Pathway Certificate. The College shares this message with everyone: “Commit to Complete, Complete to Compete.”

For 10 years, the College has provided a unique opportunity for friends of NICC and the College community to support the Student Crisis Fund. The financial support provides emergency funding for students in a crisis situation that may threaten their ability to attend school and complete their college education. Since the fund was established, 239 students have received assistance, and the College has successfully retained 92.17 percent of these students through the end of their term.

This mission has inspired hundreds of donors each year, such as Russ and Juanita Loven. Russ Loven served in public education for 44 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator. He is currently beginning his seventh year as the mayor of Guttenberg and understands that the root cause of many students’ struggles are economic. A lifetime of education and public service influences the Lovens’ commitment to give back to their community.

“At the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s annual fundraiser, I became aware of the Student Crisis Fund and how this financial support has helped so many students at Northeast Iowa Community College,” Loven explained. “I heard stories about students who couldn’t get to campus because of emergency circumstances or more everyday obstacles – gas money, car repairs or a flat tire. These are things people tend to take for granted. Juanita and I knew this is where we could help.”

In 2012, Russ and Juanita Loven established the Dr. Russell and Juanita Loven Endowment to support the NICC students through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The endowment provides direct support to the Student Crisis Fund each year.

This endowment and other committed donors provide the financial assistance students need to attend college and complete their degrees.

Rick Granado

Rick Granado, an Industrial Maintenance Technology student, experienced a crisis when he lost his only means of transportation to attend classes and complete lab requirements on campus. He turned to the College to request assistance and was relieved that donors had created the Student Crisis Fund as a resource to help students.

“I recommend that any student in need use the Student Crisis Fund. I applied for funds to help with transportation when I was unable to continue to get to class. The Student Crisis Fund was really helpful! It allowed me to continue my education,” Granado said.

There will always be community needs, Loven acknowledged, but he has observed that we live in a particularly challenging time economically.

“Community need and financial support for charitable organizations seems to be much greater today than it used to be. We hope that the Student Crisis Fund helps students ‘get over that next hill’ and overcome obstacles to stay enrolled and start a fulfilling career,”
he said.

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