Basic needs insecurity has the potential to undermine investments in higher education and hinder upward social and economic mobility. The likelihood of a student re-enrolling in college after dropping out is low, with only 30% returning to finish a degree. Uncertainty around basic needs of food, housing, child care, and transportation should NOT be the determining factor for students pursuing an education and upward mobility. Greenville Tech Foundation aims to support students through these challenges to ensure each student has the opportunity to pursue an education AND have their basic needs met.
Addressing Basic Needs Insecurity among Greenville Technical College Students
By the Numbers
STAR Center Impact
students served by Caring Corner Food Panty in last year
of Greenville Technical College students experienced a basic needs insecurity within the past 30 days
average assistance provided through Student Emergency Needs
When sudden circumstances create emergency needs, the STAR Center provides financial assistance so students can stay on track academically. Students can receive financial assistance, groceries, and other resources to overcome unforeseen challenges.
What seems simple to most – fixing a flat tire, unforeseen medical bills, or finding your next meal – can be a barrier to our students and will prevent them from graduating.
Student Emergency Needs funds can help with:
- Past due bills
- Rental/housing assistance
- Medical bills
- Transportation issues
- Books and class supplies
Caring Corner food pantry provides:
- Other essential needs items
A college education is one of the few routes to upward economic mobility and breaking the cycle of poverty; and the basic needs of adequate food and housing, are critical components of collegiate success. If a student has not eaten or slept enough the night before a class or an exam, they can have difficulty mastering the material or performing well. Greenville Technical College administered the #RealCollege survey, a nationwide annual assessment of basic needs insecurity among college students developed by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. The survey found 56% of Greenville Technical College students experienced at least one type of basic needs insecurity (food insecurity, housing insecurity, and/or homelessness) in the past year.
Shadé Beck ’21
Shadé, an Army veteran and single mother of three, earned an associate’s degree in human services. During the pandemic, while balancing work, school, and caring for her children, she had to drop out of a class. She still owed a balance for that course which was the final class needed to graduate. One of her professors learned about her hardship so she reached out to the Foundation for support.
“Greenville Tech gave me the blocks I needed in order to build where I wanted to go. Because of your generosity, I was able to continue my education and make a better life for myself and my kids. Thanks to donor support, my balance was paid and I was able to graduate.” Shadé plans to spend her career in bereavement counseling for veterans.
Shaquella Hawthorne ’21
Shaquella Hawthorne, a single mother of two, found Rick Grant with the STAR Center when she faced some unexpected financial challenges. “It took a relief off of my shoulders. He paid my rent – I didn’t have to stress about my family’s needs,” said Hawthorne. “I thought I was in it by myself, but at the end of the day, I found people to help get me through it.” Since graduating with her Nursing degree, Hawthorne started working on a transitional unit at Prisma Health and plans to transfer to a critical care/ICU unit in the future.
“My degree means stability and a career I can always depend on. Nurses are needed desperately and I will be able to provide for my children. I am so thankful for this support. One day, I want to be a donor. I want to help people like me, who are struggling through school.”
When Jenna thought she might have to drop out of college, Greenville Technical College faculty and staff stepped in to give her the support she needed to stay in school. The Greenville Tech Foundation provided support through the Student Emergency Needs Fund so that Jenna could support her family and continue her education at Greenville Technical College.