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Grants help expand student support at WSCC

Thanks to two grants from the Marietta Welfare League, totaling $4,500, Washington State Community College (WSCC) will be able to make an even greater impact on the lives of its students.

At the League’s 2020 Grant Awards Reception held at the Betsey Mills Club, members presented Jeff Graffius, WSCC’s Library and Student Resources Director, with a check for $2,500.

“This will help our incoming first generation nursing college students by providing them with uniforms, an introductory textbook, and a drug guide,” explained Graffius. “The additional funds will hopefully remove some of the barriers faced by first-generation college students to help them persist and earn their degree.”

Graffius elaborated that decisions for how the money will be distributed will be in place by summer. “I’d like to help as many students as possible, however I also want to do as much as possible.”

The League also presented the WSCC Foundation with a check for $2,000. These funds will be used to establish a food pantry on campus. WSCC President Vicky Wood, who accepted the grant on the behalf of the Foundation, shared the importance of the initiative. “Forty-four-percent of our student population lives in poverty. They have food insecurities and home insecurities. So we have decided on campus that we are going to start a food pantry so that they have access to food while they are on our campus.”

The pantry will be managed by the Center for Student Success. The initial pilot project will support 10 students and their families who have the greatest unmet financial need. Wood said it is the long-term goal of the college to expand the food pantry to be able to provide regular assistance to more students and emergency assistance when needed.

In total, the Marietta Welfare League distributed more than $90,000 to 38 non-profit groups throughout Washington County.

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