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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Support Students with Extreme Financial Need this Holiday Season.
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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Support Students with Extreme Financial Need this Holiday Season.

With the holiday season upon us, gifts, giving and generosity are on everyone’s mind, even and especially in a year like no other. At the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, we are so incredibly grateful for the generosity of this community in supporting college scholarships for local students with financial need. We know that for our students, whose families struggle to make ends meet, a college scholarship can change a life forever.

Simply put, the need for college scholarships in Alexandria has never been greater in our 34-year history than right now. The global health pandemic and its economic impacts are devastating for local families who may already live near the poverty line.

There is a crisis building. COVID-19 and its far-reaching socioeconomic impacts are hitting local families with financial need the hardest. These are the very same hard-working students and the very same families that we serve. You can see the danger they face. These bright students are in danger of giving up on their dreams of college; they are in danger of giving up hope. At the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, we specialize in helping students make their college dreams and hopes for a successful future become reality.

There is great need in our community, but there is also great promise. This fall, the generosity of this community provided $1 million in scholarships and helped send more than 400 students to college. Many of these hard-working students and their families live close to the poverty line and would not be able to afford college without a scholarship.

Scholarships build a stronger Alexandria community. Every local student you help send to college will translate into generations of independence, financial success, and increased opportunity for an Alexandria family living in poverty.

This year, we received a RECORD number of scholarship applications from the TC Titan Class of 2020. Since the pandemic began, we have seen an unprecedented 25% increase in scholarship applications to help our students afford college during their sophomore, junior and senior years to ultimately obtain their college degrees.

Students from this very vulnerable COVID-generation need your support to achieve their college goals.

This year, the Scholarship Fund committed an additional $100,000 to support scholarships and college dreams to meet the increasing need for assistance driven by COVID and COVID-economics. But we need to find a way to raise increased funds over the next several years to accommodate the continuing projected increase in need.

If you are looking for a way to do some good during this difficult time, giving to support college scholarships will make a real difference in our community and our future.

One hundred percent of all donations go directly to pay college tuition for a T.C. graduate with need. It’s important to realize that 2 out of 3 families at T.C. live near the poverty level and more than half of our scholarship recipients are the first in their family to attend college. The vast majority of our scholarships are awarded to Black students here in Alexandria, but we must work even harder to support these students in their pursuit of higher education. College scholarships and higher education will change the trajectory of students’ lives.

Please consider supporting this important cause this holiday season. Scholarships will mean everything to bright, hard-working TC Titan seniors who are applying to college right now and struggling to find a way to pay for it.

Priscilla Goodwin

Board Chair, ’79 Titan

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Board of Trustees