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Cheerful African American students exchanging books at a library

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There’s a reason HBCUs are some of the most unique environments for Black students in our country. 

The support, love and consideration that many students receive at HBCUs are second to none. 

Dr. Stacey Patton has organized The Ida B. Wells-Barnett Textbook Fund and is one of the many examples of the faculty, staff, and administrators who go the extra mile for their students. 

Patton is a professor, journalist and author. She began teaching at Morgan State University in 2016, and noticed that many students were falling behind on assignments because they couldn’t afford the books that were needed for their classes. 

Costs for college tuition, housing, meals and resources such as books have been rising significantly year over year. This has a substantial impact on many Black students seeking an education due to many socioeconomic factors that have consistently held Black people down economically.

“The majority of students receive financial assistance. Some of them struggle with food and housing insecurity and other challenges. Many are first-generation students who don’t receive support from their families,” according to the Fund’s GoFundMe Page.

“Some are single parents juggling work and school, while others are facing medical challenges. Since my goal as an educator is to make sure my students succeed, I decided to do my part to help out. So, for the past 10 semesters, I’ve raised close to $200,000 with the help of generous folks from across the country!”

The Fund has currently just past $19,500 and the goal for Patton is to reach $25,000. This money will be split between Morgan State University and Howard University. Patton is projecting that this Fund will help around 100 students but could impact more based on how much money is raised. Students will be provided a maximum of $250 after completing an application. Funds will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. 

 

The funds can also be used for course software, hotspots for students taking online classes who have Internet connection challenges and digital equipment for production classes.

The work of Patton and many others who go out of their way to make a difference and provide opportunities for students is the backbone of the HBCU community. 

“I’ve heard from many recipients that this textbook fund has made a huge difference in their ability to perform well and complete their coursework,” reads the GoFundMe page. “So, I hope that you’ll take a moment and give what you can spare. No amount is too small. Our students appreciate your generosity. What we invest in our young people today, we invest in the future.” 

 

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