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Emergency Crisis Fund alleviates students’ financial burdens

For 28 years, the Sun Devil Family Association has fostered student success by creating diverse programs to assist a variety of needs. In 2011–12, the family association allotted $359,400 to provide scholarships, free tutoring and other student success initiatives.

The Emergency Crisis Fund is one of the family association's most critical funds — one that alleviates short-term financial difficulties to prevent unforeseen challenges from interfering with school. This year, the SDFA made$20,000 available to help students overcome the bumps in the road during difficult times. While this fund helps many students in need, SDFA hopes to raise additional funds to help even more students stay in school.

Recently, an ASU student and mother of five was helped by the Emergency Crisis Fund. In her letter to the family association, she wrote of her ADHD, autistic and dyslexic 11-year-old son and her 16-year-old son who also has ADD and autism. After her ex-husband's death, she was left alone to pay their hefty medical expenses and care for her three other children.

"I have faith that what I am doing to further my education will help me be a self-supporting single parent, help my children, and, in the long run, help my community," she says.

When applying for the fund, a communications major wrote: "This is my last year at ASU and it has been the hardest to pay for all my expenses. I do not have any electricity or food in the refrigerator, mainly because I cannot afford these things right now. I am already in debt and have tried to apply for more loans but keep getting denied because I don't have a co-signer. I am grateful for any assistance I can get so I can make sure I am in my cap and gown come May." Graduation became a reality for this student, thanks in part to the Emergency Crisis Fund.

Another recipient of the Emergency Crisis Fund wrote: "Toward the end of the semester, funds run low for me because I am a single mother of two. I do not have any family here or credit cards to use for backup. It is hard to ask for help, but I really need it. I am in the process of getting food stamps so I won't have to worry about food. It is so hard being in this life as a single mother while trying to work and go to school." This student's difficulties were alleviated by the fund and allowed her to proceed with her education at ASU.

After moving into a private school campus associated with her church, another mother and her 12-year-old daughter were helped by the fund. She believed the move would enable her to pursue higher education at ASU because of its close location to her new surroundings, but when she was handed an eviction notice, she had just 30 days to leave in order to make room for staff housing.

"I fought for three weeks, only to find the notice would stand," she says. "I placed our things in storage, paid as far in advance as I could, and checked us into a hotel."

The family association granted her the funds to get back on her feet and fight for the higher education she so strongly desired.

Your support of this fund provides a safety net for many deserving students experiencing financial hardships. Thanks to parents like you, theses students with a passion for education were given a second chance to stay in school.

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