Helios Education Foundation and Take Stock in Children Partner to Support College Students Impacted by COVID-19

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Helios Education Foundation and Take Stock in Children (TSIC) are launching the Florida COVID-19 Student Support Initiative to support postsecondary students participating in Take Stock in College. The goal of the fund, which will be administered by the TSIC statewide office, is to encourage students’ retention, persistence, and success in completing their postsecondary degree, despite the challenges and uncertainty brought on by the global pandemic. TSIC will work collaboratively with regional staff and partner colleges and universities to deploy an online application for support that will be distributed to all eligible students participating in Take Stock in College to gain a clear understanding of the individual needs and unusual hardships these students may be experiencing during this unanticipated transition to a virtual learning environment.

“Helios and Take Stock in Children are partnering, with a sense of urgency, to identify ways to support college students who are at risk of dropping out or delaying their postsecondary education due to the effects of COVID-19,” said Vince Roig, Founding Chairman, Helios Education Foundation. 

The Florida COVID-19 Student Support Initiative is focused on ensuring that Take Stock in College scholars complete their 2020 semester, enroll for the summer, and transition into the fall semester.  A dedicated program coordinator will work with students and partners to identify and access available resources and services, such as emergency direct financial support, virtual advising, e-mentoring, wraparound services, webinars, and professional development to help navigate the current crisis and new learning norms.

“College students, especially those at risk for leaving their postsecondary studies, have faced incredible challenges as a result of COVID-19,” said Take Stock President and CEO, Jillian Hasner.  “We’re so thankful for the longstanding partnership between Take Stock and the Helios Education Foundation as it allows us to provide emergency student support funding for our students most basic needs to ensure they remain on track to complete their academic goals and realize college graduation.”

The initiative’s funds are intended to supplement and fill gaps in the relief provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides almost $14 billion that will go directly to higher education institutions to support the costs of shifting classes online, and for grants to students for food, housing, technology, health care, childcare, and other purposes.  

“It is our hope that this partnership will provide some security and stability to help first- generation, low-income, and underrepresented postsecondary students persist in their educational journey and graduate on time,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation.