MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Amid the challenges of COVID-19, more than 60 students are able to continue their academic careers, thanks to Mountaineer Nation.
The WVU Foundation has put together a fundraising initiative, “We Are Stronger Together,” to provide nearly $80,000 in scholarship support to help students in need. This was created to help WVU students with tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses.
“We Are Stronger Together,” helps students whose family has been affected by the pandemic.
Freshman Isaac Calle-Tapia came to WVU to seek a better future for himself and his family in South America. In response to the pandemic, his parents – an architect and a judge in Ecuador – haven’t been able to work, causing them to be unable to afford Calle-Tapia’s college expenses.
Calle-Tapia has a dual citizenship in the United States and in Ecuador. Majoring in political science and pre-law, he hopes to go to law school and work in government prior to becoming a U.S. Senator.
“People may not think $1 or $5 counts, but every dollar gets bigger with another dollar, and that actually helps me. I’m pretty thankful for that. If you want to donate 1 cent for a scholarship for someone, it’s going to help. Anything can help, and it could change someone’s life.”Isaac Calle-Tapia, WVU freshman
Senior Mountaineer, Robert Farley, of Morgantown, pays for his college education out of pocket, working two part-time jobs to support himself. Farley struggled last spring during the transition to online classes, amid the beginning breakout of the novel coronavirus. Working as a teaching assistant and customer service representative, he was forced upon limited hours while having to work remotely.
“This scholarship is a weight off my back, I don’t have to work as many hours throughout the day as I normally would, like last semester or the semester before where I would take 20 credit hours on top of working two jobs,” Farley said.
Farley is majoring in industrial engineering and geology, and is thankful for the financial relief the supporters of “We Are Stronger Together” have provided him.
Freshman Skye Pacelt, of Chicago, had both her parents’ hours get cut due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her mother, who is a teacher, was unable to work after-school programs once classes moved online. Pacelt’s father, a probation officer, trains other officers in restraints, holds and other maneuvers that require close contact.
“I would like to say thank you to the people who donated for my scholarship. They are the only reason I am here. I wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise, so all the scholarships I got I am extremely grateful for. They mean so much to me, and I know they mean a lot to my family.”Skye Pacelt, WVU freshman
Pacelt is set to earn a forensic science degree in hopes to follow her father’s footsteps into law enforcement.
“We know these students often need financial assistance to start or continue their higher education, and they have disproportionately felt the devastating impact of COVID-19,” said B.J. Davisson, executive vice president and chief development officer of the WVU Foundation. “With support from the WVU community, we can help as many students as possible achieve their dreams of earning a college degree.”
According to release, the WVU Office of Financial Aid oversees awarding scholarships for all WVU students in accordance with each student’s aid eligibility. Any student who believes they qualify should contact the Mountaineer Hub and submit an online ticket requesting assistance due to the COVID pandemic.
If you would like to donate to “We Are Stronger Together,” you can visit the secure giving webpage.