VC Foundation helped students stay on course after Harvey

Bonnie Bartlett Bonnie Bartlett is one of 116 Victoria College students who have received assistance from the Victoria College Foundation during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Back in July, Bonnie Bartlett made her mother a promise that she refuses to break.

“Two weeks before she passed away, she gave me a platinum ring and told me to promise I wouldn’t quit school,” said Bartlett, who is a student at Victoria College. “Even though with all that is happening in my life, I can’t quit.”

Just over a month after her mother’s death, Hurricane Harvey destroyed much of Bartlett’s home. She and her husband had to find housing while their home was being repaired. Bartlett would often take public transit to school and came to classes many days in dirty clothes.

“I had no money to wash my clothes, so I tried to wash them by hand, but it’s not the same,” Bartlett said. “But I would not miss school.”

Bartlett reached out to the Victoria College Foundation with a letter explaining her circumstances. She became one of 116 VC students and employees to receive immediate funds from the VC Foundation to cover basic needs in the aftermath of Harvey. Additional scholarship support was also provided to help students remain in school while recovering from the storm.

“The Victoria College Foundation saw the need and partnered with VC’s Advising & Counseling Services and Human Resources departments to establish a process to assist our employees and students,” commented VC Foundation Executive Director Amy Mundy.

The Foundation provided emergency assistance to 69 students in the amount of $15,108.29 and $10,575 to 47 employees. Twenty-four students received a combined $11,341 in additional scholarships. The total amount of emergency aid provided by the VC Foundation was $37,024.

“The acts of kindness, the volunteers, our donors and the sheer determination of our students to power through this semester was a true testament of how our college and community work together to assist those in need,” Mundy said. “What we experienced through this process will have a lasting impact. Our hope is that we were able to have a little bit of that effect on those we helped.”

In addition to the Victoria College Foundation support, Scholarship America’s National Disaster Relief Fund awarded Victoria College $12,500 to help VC students stay in school through scholarship assistance.

“Victoria College is honored to receive these funds,” said VC Financial Aid Director Kim Obsta. “Many of our students have been affected by Hurricane Harvey, and keeping students in school is a priority.”

Bartlett is taking three classes this semester. She expects to be done with her prerequisites in May and then enter one of VC’s nursing programs.

“I want to go become a registered nurse and then try to go further to become a nurse practitioner, but I’m just taking it a step at a time right now,” Bartlett said. “I’m trying to hang in there. I can’t let anything keep me from accomplishing my goal.”