Majors: Political science and economics
Minors: Philosophy and global studies
Graduation: May 2020
Hometown: New York City
I’m a first-generation college student. Second semester of my senior year was supposed to be a great time filled with celebrations. Not having any of that has been really hard. And I haven’t seen my family since January. I was planning to move home after graduation, but my mom and younger sister are immunocompromised, and I don’t want to risk their health.
I’m financially independent, so I pay all my expenses myself. I’ve had a campus job working at the front desk of various residence halls since my freshman year, and I worked at Caribou Coffee this year. Before COVID-19, I was working an average of 30 hours a week while going to school full-time. My hours were cut down to 10.
Usually my rent is taken out around the 5th of the month. But on April 1, the same day the Student Emergency Fund grant went into my account, my landlord took out my rent. If I hadn’t received the funds that day, my balance would have gone negative. I was so relieved and thankful.
I think it’s just incredible what donors to this fund are doing—it’s so heartwarming and so comforting. It’s nice to know there is a community I can rely on. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in this.
- When her U of M classes went online, Lexi Carstensen used the extra time to line up a full-time job in Chicago.
- Computer engineering major Kia Vang describes the emergency grant she received as a "virtual hug" from donors.
- Moving across the country back to her parents' house meant extra expenses for biomedical engineering major Jenae Putnam.