The coronavirus outbreak has forced Tyler Junior College and other educational institutions to finish the spring semester online.
The need for remote technology has caused a barrier for students who lacked the resources necessary for online learning.
With more than 70 percent of TJC’s full-time students requiring some form of financial assistance, funding to address emergency needs is a constant priority.
TJC entities came together to give $108,000 to the TJC NOW fund. The funding provided needed laptops and technology support for students to complete their semester coursework remotely.
Initially, TJC student leadership stepped forward to help address the immediate need and reallocated funding originally appropriated for spring student activities to help underwrite technology costs for students in the College’s TRIO Program.
TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia, the Tyler Junior College Foundation, the TJC Alumni Association and community contributors then signed on to match the student-led funding.
The local Best Buy store also provided a deeply discounted technology package, including laptops and remote support from their “Geek Squad.”
One of those recipients was Delicia Roland, a freshman nursing major from Tyler.
“We recently transitioned to online classes due to COVID-19, and it hasn’t been so easy,” Roland said. “The moment I was told that I was going to receive a laptop, I was at a loss for words. It will be very beneficial on my journey to success, and I cannot put into words how thankful I am.”
Alma Arriaga, a freshman education major from Tyler, also received the technology package.
Arriaga said, “I recently moved from California to Tyler in order to provide a better opportunity for my family. I am currently doing well in my classes as I strive to work hard to get good grades. I recently received a letter from TJC that placed me on the dean’s list. Thank you to TJC for partnering with TRIO and providing us with this much-needed gift.”
Mitch Andrews, TJC vice president of institutional advancement, said, “This initiative demonstrates TJC’s role as the community’s college. When an emergency arises for students, we can always count on our community partners to come together to help. As an alumnus of TJC, I am proud of our student leadership and the response from our partners who have generously matched their commitment through TJC NOW.”
Andrews said the College is seeking further funding to address other student emergency needs during this time.
He said an anonymous community contributor has come forward with a $25,000 commitment to TJC NOW and is challenging the community to match the gift at a one-to-one ratio for a total of $50,000 to help students with emergency needs.
TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia said, “I extend special appreciation to Mitch Andrews for his leadership in coordinating the work among stellar leaders, including the students who comprise our Student Services Fee Advisory Committee, the TJC Foundation, the TJC Alumni Association, our very generous community and our local Best Buy. This is the embodiment of a true win/win!”
Interested contributors can donate online to the TJC NOW fund, which provides students with immediate assistance, by going to TJC.edu/giving. For more information, contact the TJC Foundation office at 903-510-3273 or email@example.com.
Students interested in applying for assistance can go to TJC.edu/coronavirus and click the TJC NOW link or go to TJC.edu/TJCNOW.