The Mohawk College Foundation has announced this year’s new matching-gift campaign to take place today, Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29).
The Mohawk College Foundation was created to help raise funds for the college, including scholarships, bursaries, college programs and campus improvements.
This year, Mohawk College and the Mohawk College Foundation leaders have collectively pledged $55,000 to help support student needs. The college is encouraging the community and employees to help match its donation to raise a total of $110,000.
Lorna Somers, executive director of the Mohawk College Foundation and a matching donor, explained what they are hoping to do.
“The college leadership has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping students. Now, through this appeal, we are asking the Hamilton community to join us,” Somers said. “Together, we can help students stay in school and reduce the stress around the costs of tuition, books, rent and food so they can focus on their academic goals.”
Increasing expenses have forced many students to seek financial assistance in order to continue their schooling. Housing, grocery and travel expenses are just a few of the challenges students are experiencing.
Hamilton rental prices have increased 13.3 per cent for a one-bedroom and 15.6 per cent for a two-bedroom apartment in just one year. Food prices are on the rise by 10.1 per cent year-over-year, making it more difficult for students to get enough to eat.
On top of all of this, recent studies are suggesting that more than 40 per cent of post-secondary students say stress has affected their academic performance and around 16 per cent have seriously considered suicide. Within the Mohawk College community, 33 per cent of students are the first in their families to earn a postsecondary education and break generational barriers.
As president and CEO of Mohawk College and the Mohawk College Foundation, Ron McKerlie is aware of the struggles students are facing and has expressed his growing concerns.
“Mohawk College students are facing many serious challenges at this point in history as they pursue their education,” McKerlie said. “We are committed to supporting them, in and out of the classroom as they work toward their graduation and promising careers in the workforce. I am proud that 100 per cent of our college and foundation leaders have committed to supporting students through this appeal. Our college employees are unified in our support of student success.”
Drew Steeves, owner and operator of several McDonald’s restaurants, was, along with his family, one of the generous donors from last year’s appeal and says the family is set to increase its donation this year.
“We were inspired by the success of last year’s campaign, but we recognize that the challenges facing Mohawk College students continue to intensify in this economic environment,” Steeves said. “Our family is grateful to be able to help students in a significant way again this year, with the added support of college leaders. We encourage the Hamilton community to join us in this effort to support students in need.”
Through this matching-gift appeal, donors can support students through the Transformation through Education Gift Catalogue at giftcatalogue.mohawkcollege.ca.
The online catalogue allows donors to provide students with funds for college essentials like textbooks, technology, and tools as well as housing expenses, child support and nutrition.