Supporting our Students

April 13, 2020 | New York

We continue to hold you in our hearts and prayers during this challenging time. It’s difficult to believe that barely a month ago, many of you joined us to honor the amazing Crystal McCrary and to celebrate five of our extraordinary Beat the Odds scholars. The world has changed and we are learning to navigate, connect and support one another in a myriad of ways.  We have pivoted to focus our attention on the most vulnerable families who are suffering emotionally, physically and financially as a result of COVID-19. Here is a recent blog that provides a summary of some of our efforts.

Simultaneously, we ramped up our support for our Beat the Odds Scholars and our College Navigators. We provided them with information about free internet services, school meals and food pantries, and developed a comprehensive resource guide that addresses everything from entertainment to mental health supports. We developed a daily outreach which starts with themes like Shout Out Saturdays and Self-Care Sundays, and ends with Mental Health Thursdays and Creative Corner Fridays. Students receive daily check-ins, and we’ve been assisting them with scholarship applications and personal statements.

Our Advisory Board members have pitched in to help too. David Bruson, Nickelodeon’s Directory of Public Affairs provided a host of materials to keep our young people engaged in positive activities and learning experiences. Zakieh Bigion Klurfeld, a clinical pyschologist, produced a wonderful video with tips for coping during this crisis. And finally, we launched a weekly newsletter that contains activities and updates on resources, and produced virtual workshops, and now that we have ensured that each student has Netflix, they are joining us for Netflix movie nights!

We are so privileged to be here to support our young people during this period of extreme stress and uncertainty.  And we are so grateful that we are able to do so because of all of you who provide the encouragement and support we need.