A recent news article noted that college student enrollment is down due to impacts related to COVID-19. As a company that supports education at all levels, this statistic caught our attention. Working with our community partner, the El Camino College (ECC) Foundation, we gained insights into the difficult experiences students have been facing during this unconventional year – and seized the opportunity to help.

One ECC student shared:

My brother just underwent surgery and my mom lost her job due to COVID-19. I too lost my job, leaving my household with no source of income. We are struggling to make ends meet, we rely on school lunches and food banks. We are behind 3 months on rent, and our medical bills are high.

My science class starts in two weeks and I’m really worried because I lack money to buy books and materials. I do not want to burden you by asking for assistance in rent as I really just want to ensure I can have WIFI and books to take my classes. I refuse to let my financial situation determine my success. Please help me cover my books and WIFI so I can continue on my path to become a nurse. I am requesting exactly $397.54 as this would completely cover the books and 2 months of Wi Fi service that I need so I can succeed. I really need this and would be forever grateful.

That request is just one among hundreds for assistance being met by the ECC Foundation’s “Emergency Student Relief Fund” the Foundation created to assist students adversely affected by COVID-19 to cover books, Wi-Fi, transportation, food or other necessities that can become obstacles to students’ continuing education. The Emergency Student Relief Fund has raised more than $115,000 to date, supporting over 432 El Camino College students with an average grant of $250. As the pandemic continues to severely impact lives, the need for assistance continues to grow.

“Torrance Refining Company contributed $10,000 to the Emergency Student Relief Fund, recognizing the important role college plays in helping students reach their educational goals and shape their future,” said Steve Steach, Torrance Refinery Manager. “The Refinery’s donation, combined with other sponsors’, will help meet a matching grant for the first $60,000 raised by the community, which will help so many more students.”

To learn more about the Emergency Student Relief Fund and contribute, please visit: https://www.elcamino.edu/foundation/student-emergency-fund.aspx

ECC Student Emergency Fund