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NECC Emergency Fund Uncovers Tremendous Need

Submitted by on April 14, 2020 – 6:34 pm

graphis of NECC students for emergency fundNorthern Essex Community College’s success in raising funds to benefit students who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 has been offset by the tremendous need that has been uncovered.

As of Friday, April 10, the college had received $10,425 in donations for the NECC Emergency Fund, which was created the third week in March. During the same time frame, 125 students, each with their own compelling story, have applied for and received funding.

“Within hours of announcing the availability of these funds, we had received 80 applications from students with stories that are heartbreaking,” said Allison Dolan-Wilson, NECC’s vice president of institutional advancement. “These students are determined to continue their education, despite the increased challenges they are now facing.”

The stories included:
A single mom who is now homeschooling her disabled child so unable to work to support her family, needs help with rent, internet, utilities and food.
A student, who lost her job as a note taker and, no longer has access to the college’s computers, is traveling to a relative’s home to access a computer, and needs a laptop of her own.
A part-time worker who is collecting only $69 a week in unemployment, when she made double or triple that when working, is asking for help paying her utilities, especially the internet which she needs to continue her studies.
A nursing student who because of lost wages had to take her savings fund for nursing uniforms and buy food, is looking for funding for her uniforms.

In addition to receiving a stipend to help them offset costs associated with the virus, students who apply for funding are being connected with other college and community resources to help them weather the crisis and continue with their studies, according to Dr.Jennifer Mezquita, NECC’s assistant vice president of student affairs. Those resources include the college’s student laptop loaner program, which was started in March and has helped 41 students to date, and community food banks.

Mark Van Weelden, market area manager, Covanta, responded quickly to Northern Essex’s request for help with a $1,000 donation.
“As a member of the NECC Foundation, I’ve seen how Northern Essex transforms the lives of its students. We wanted to do something to help offset the financial impact of COVID-19 for these students who are working so hard to get an education.”

The college is continuing to secure donations to the NECC Emergency Fund and will be making a special push on May 5, which has been designated by #GivingTuesday as a global day of giving and unity, in response to the need caused by COVID-19.
“Our students are driven, smart, curious, and unique, but they are also vulnerable” said Dolan-Wilson, “This fund is addressing some of their financial worries so they can stay in college and focus on their futures.”

If you would like to donate and help Northern Essex students, please contribute to the emergency fund or email Allison Dolan Wilson at

Students who would like to apply for funding can fill out a form created by Student Affairs. The Financial Aid Office will evaluate each request and do their best to find resources to support the need from currently existing funds as well as the NECC Student Emergency Fund.

For more information on applying for funds, contact Despina Lambropoulos, Financial Aid,