8. February 2012 08:43
Donation benefits women college students in need
For some Fond du Lac area college students, unforeseen circumstances can pose a financial threat to finishing their degree. The Women’s Fund of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation saw this need and recently donated a gift to Moraine Park Technical College, Marian University and the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac to support the new Emergency Fund Initiative for women, SAFENET.
“In Northeast Wisconsin, one in four female-headed family households lives in poverty,” said Rae Nell Halbur of the Fond du Lac Women’s Fund. “Of the women in Northeast Wisconsin only about 36 percent have a high school diploma or equivalent and only 30 percent have some college or Associate degree. For this reason the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation supports programs like SAFENET. Our goal is to assist women with improving their level of education and with that lift them and their families out of that constant cycle of poverty.”
The Women’s Fund focuses the grants it gives to nonprofit organizations on programs that benefit Fond du Lac area women of all ages in any of three areas: education; leadership development; or financial self-sufficiency. The grant to SAFENET was appropriate because it will benefit women in two of those areas, education and financial self-sufficiency, by providing a resource for emergency funds that may allow them to stay in school, or to purchase the books and equipment they need to succeed there.
The three Fond du Lac colleges wrote the grant together and each received $500 toward each college’s student emergency fund. The goal of the SAFENET fund is to help female students during a time of financial need to remain in school and progress towards their desired certification, diploma or degree. The funding is not intended to replace or supplement existing financial aid and does not have to be repaid.
“We are honored to receive and offer this emergency fund to our students,” said Pam Warren, Financial Aid director at Marian University. “Education is a critical component of success and opportunity. Many of our female students face financial challenges in pursuing their education and this alleviates some of the burden.”
Kelly Norton, Foundation director at Moraine Park, echoed the thoughts of Warren. “The support of the Fond du Lac Women’s Fund in support of Moraine Park’s SAFENET/Student Emergency Fund makes a great impact on female students at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus. Gifts like this are essential in our ability to quickly address financial obstacles standing in the way of student success. We can’t thank the Women’s Fund enough for supporting higher education and the students of Moraine Park—together we are making an incredible difference in the lives of students, and in turn the community we serve.”
“The SAFENET grant provides a great sense of relief and new hope for female UW-Fond du Lac students who have experienced unexpected circumstances in their lives,” said Amanda Kemmel, executive director of the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation. “The grant gives them the opportunity to concentrate on their studies, rather than worry about the unexpected financial burden they are facing. We are incredibly appreciative to the Women’s Fund of Fond du Lac for their generosity and the difference they make in our students.”
For more information on the Fond du Lac Women’s Fund, visit fdlareafoundation.com/womensfund.html.