16:15 PM

For Tomorrow's Doctors and Nurses: Need Outweighs Resources

CeltCare logoWith the word barely out that UST is awarding financial hardship awards to students due to COVID-19, more than 80 applications flooded in for help via an online application.

Dean of Scholarships and Financial Aid Lynda McKendree, one of five UST team members who is reviewing the applications, spent the entire weekend reading them so she could help quickly.

Pre-Med Track Student Gets Spring Tuition Balance Paid

Junior Biology Transfer Student, Jennifer Calderon, who wants to be a doctor and is on the pre-med track, was the recipient of McKendree’s quick action before she was even considered for a CeltCare hardship award.

McKendree wrote, “I am reviewing Celt Care applications today and came across yours. I understand you don’t have a way to pay your spring balance now. I had some funding in a SEOG grant that is for students in need. I applied that grant to cover your spring balance. You now owe $0.”

Calderon was thrilled and shocked that a university could take such great care of its students like UST is doing. She feels like the University cares about her success and well-being.

“Wow! I do not have the words!” Calderon said. “I cannot even begin to thank you enough. Your kindness is so beyond appreciated! I am crying tears of joy for the first time in a long time! Thank you, if only I could express my gratitude. I love UST so much and am so excited to be able to continue my education here, thanks to your generosity!”

CeltCare Award Info

The CeltCare Awards are awarded up to $1,000/academic year and will be considered to cover hardships such as the following:

  • Laptops and internet access to those students who will not otherwise be able to complete their coursework.
  • Immediate support for students facing housing challenges or food insecurity.
  • Funds for students who have lost wages or jobs they depend on to pay for their education and support themselves or their families.
  • Resources for students who need emergency medical and mental health services.
    • The hardships listed above are examples and not an exhaustive list.

How you apply

Students must submit a statement describing their hardship as related to the COVID-19 pandemic (file should be a pdf, doc, docx). Apply now. Applications are already being received and reviewed.

Awards to Be Given Quickly

If you are selected to receive a CeltCare Award and have direct deposit on file, you will receive your award amount into your checking account quickly. Otherwise, awardees will receive a check. The average award for a laptop is $500, which includes funds to pay for Internet service.

“Students are writing that they have to share a computer with their siblings, and they can’t get their assignments/tests done,” McKendree said. “This award will help with those issues.”

This morning, Student Affairs sent an email to students letting them know about the CeltCare initiative, which was first enacted upon during Hurricane Harvey, when students, faculty and staff members who had a hardship received funds to get back on their feet.

Asking Donors Who Value Education to Give Generously

As requests pour in, it is evident that need outweighs the resources available. 

With $35,000 in the kitty, the money will go quickly. To give a donation to the CeltCare Fund, go to https://www.stthom.edu/stayhealthy and click on the CeltCare Fund button.   

Who knows, Jennifer Calderon could be your doctor in the future!