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Mabel Almanzar had just one class left to earn her degree at Benedictine University. That’s it. But after losing seven family members to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and being quarantined in her New York City home, she came close to dropping out of school due to lack of funds. Here how the Mission Fund came to her aid.
Benedictine senior, Elizabeth Salazar, had a heartbreaking choice: protecting your family’s health now or continuing the education that will provide for them in the future. Salazar, and so many college students like her, have had to make such decisions because of COVID-19. Elizabeth tells her story of how the Mission Fund helped her.
One definition of a miracle is … “an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing or accomplishment that surpasses all known natural powers.”
This fall semester, Benedictine students were forced to alter every aspect of their lives and, for some, to be able to continue their education constitutes a miracle. The pandemic has highlighted the fact that we are living in a world of volatility, uncertainty and complexities. For over 133 years, Benedictine students have overcome hardships, often times made sacrifices and endured in spite of the challenges. But the education, friendships, lasting memories and opportunities are just as alive today as they were in past years … and the needs possibly even greater.
The pandemic has led to a major increase in requests for aid by both new and returning students. As alumni and friends of the University, we can help, we can support and we can make sure today’s students have the same opportunities as those who have gone before. Therefore, I would like to challenge our Benedictine community around the world to donate to our Mission Fund. I am fortunate to hear stories from our alumni as to how Benedictine impacted their lives, provided hope and changed dreams into realities. Recently, an alumnus stated, “what I am today can be summed up in one word – Benedictine.” By giving today, we can continue the legacy of providing a small miracle for students in need.
In support of our year-end ask, an alumnus recently committed $30,000 as a matching gift to the Mission Fund. This means your contribution will have double the impact if made before the end of 2020. Members of the Board of Trustees and the University’s administration are also joining in this challenge.
By making a difference today, we are investing in tomorrow’s “difference makers.” Your help is truly appreciated especially at this defining moment in the lives of our students and our University. We have an opportunity to honor the past by donating to the future.