Virtual hug

Kia Vang

Major: Computer engineering
Expected graduation: May 2021
Hometown: Minneapolis

When courses went online, it was stressful physically, mentally, and emotionally. I didn’t have the appropriate setting for learning. I live on a busy street, and it was loud and chaotic indoors and outdoors. 

Internet accessibility and stability was an ongoing issue. I lost my internet connection a few times when submitting homework responses, so I had to redo and resubmit everything. 

In the midst of learning how to survive school online as a full-time student, my part-time job paused their scheduling. I had to figure out how I would afford food, hygiene/cleaning supplies, and other personal expenses. 

When I found out I’d receive an emergency grant, I broke down in joy. I felt a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. I was relieved to know I wouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table for the remainder of the school year. I felt the biggest (virtual) hug, one that I needed—and it came from people who don’t know me personally, yet they went out of their way to care for my wellbeing.

The donors to this fund are, in a sense, my heroes. They literally saved me from starvation. Their generous support left an imprint in my heart, and I cannot wait to pay their kindness forward in the future. 

Related stories

  • Woman hiking in snowy mountains
    Moving across the country back to her parents' house meant extra expenses for biomedical engineering major Jenae Putnam.
  • Woman posing in graduation cap and gown with Goldy statue and Goldy mascot
    An emergency grant helped first-generation college student Cassidy Drummond pay rent when her work hours were cut.
  • Woman in graduation cap holding diploma
    When her U of M classes went online, Lexi Carstensen used the extra time to line up a full-time job in Chicago.