With support from the Women’s Outreach and Advocacy Center, Kasara was able to obtain her degree despite additional hurdles she encountered during the COVD-19 pandemic.
The way Kasara Pompey was introduced to the Women’s Outreach and Advocacy Center (Women’s Center) was truly a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and trying one’s luck.
Today, Kasara, a Health Care Studies student, is on track to completing her final year at the College and looking forward to graduation in May. But even a year ago, her vision of graduation didn’t look so clear.
In January 2020, Kasara was drawn to a flyer on campus that read, “Do you need help with child care?” She knew she did, but wondered if it was legitimate. At the time, Kasara was juggling school and work, and would soon struggle to keep up with child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, she took a chance and reached out to the contact on the flyer. She couldn’t believe the great attentiveness and assistance she received from Dr. Claudia Curry, the director of the Women’s Center, and its supporting staff.
“The Women’s Outreach and Advocacy Center offers a safe space and a focal point where diverse students can convene as a community for advocacy, collaboration and education,” Dr. Curry says. “The Center complements the mission of the College by creating an environment that promotes caring and provides students the resources and support needed to achieve their goals.
The Women’s Center was able to assist Kasara in receiving funds through Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS), the College’s child care grant program that helps low-income student-parents pay for child care. And when Kasara was notified of the loss of her financial aid for spring 2021, Dr. Curry and the Women’s Center assisted in helping her find and apply to receive scholarship funds that helped Kasara pay for the remainder of the courses she needed to graduate.
“I was worried, financially, because I do not have a lot of support, especially when it comes to my son. Mentally, it was a lot of stress to deal with,” she said. “As women, it’s important to have a supportive village to help you. Dr. Curry was that support for me, and what they did for me, I would have never expected.”
Kasara was introduced to many of the College’s other student support services through her experience with the Women’s Center. She would receive regular emails with links and readings for various resources that led to her getting help with books and groceries through the CARES Act and borrowing a laptop through the College’s Student Device Loaner Program. But Kasara says she believes many students don’t take advantage of what the College has to offer, and it’s unfortunate.
“As a mom without the resources and support others have access to, I think the College has excellent resources, and I am so happy I found them,” Kasara said.
Kasara credits the Women’s Center and Dr. Curry for helping her get to graduation and hopes other students will take the time to utilize the resources available to them.