September 10, 2019

Mesa College Launches the Campaign for The Resiliency Fund

By Jennifer N. Kearns

Resiliency Fund

San Diego, CA. - Today, San Diego Mesa College announced the official launch of their new Resiliency Fund Campaign. With an ambitious financial goal of $250,000, the purpose of the Resiliency Fund is to create a sustainable long-term financial reserve that could be used to assist students in need, and thereby decrease their risk of dropping out of class or college.

Mesa College’s participation in the Hope Lab Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey, showed that nearly 50% of Mesa College students are struggling with food insecurity while another 18% lack permanent housing. For these students, one unexpected expense can put their entire education at risk.

Resiliency Fund“Raising these funds will transform our ability to provide our most vulnerable students with the support they need,” stated Mesa College President Pamela T. Luster. “Our goal is for this campaign to culminate in the dedication of a new resource center on campus where students can go to get access to food, clothing, financial aid and other needed resources to ensure that our students succeed.”

In the summer of 2019, San Diego Mesa College leaders, in conjunction with the San Diego Mesa College Foundation, embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign. The vision was to create a “Resiliency Fund”; a source of money intended to help students with emergency or urgent expenses. Leaders and Foundation board members envisioned a scenario whereby students could have access to needed funding, without jeopardizing their college educational goals.

The goal is ambitious and visionary. Raise $250,000 to create the “Resiliency Fund” that would provide one-time emergency loans and grants to students experiencing financial setbacks that may put them at risk of dropping out. 100% of donations for the Resiliency Fund will go directly to students, and the fund would provide financial assistance for expenses such as textbooks and supplies, car repairs, such as flat tires, hotel vouchers, and/or food.

Mesa College has been working diligently to address the most basic needs of students. From opening up The Stand (the food and clothing pantry) in early 2017, to debuting the monthly free Farmers Market in 2018, the weekly Pop-Up Markets in 2019, to providing emergency funds for car repairs and hotel vouchers, Mesa has assisted thousands of students with obtaining access to essentials such as food, clothing, transportation nod housing. Through this work, the college identified a need to do more. 

In preliminary conversations with potential donors, and when debuted at the Mesa College Fall 2019 Convocation in August, the response to the Resiliency Fund has been positively overwhelming. Several donors have stepped forward to provide nearly $75,000 as “match funding” to incentivize others to give and other donors have already submitted their donations and pledges. Due to generous match funding, the Campaign has already raised nearly $30,000.

View the Resiliency Fund Video.

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Tags: Mesa Foundation, Resiliency Fund