Through student philanthropy, K-State Proud ensures that no student has to choose between paying their bills and continuing their education.
From a car breaking down to unforeseen medical expenses, there are many financial situations that students cannot predict throughout their time in college. Enter K-State Proud, which allows students to help their fellow students remain in school during these challenging times.
K-State Proud is the fundraising campaign for the K-State Student Foundation, which serves as the student arm to philanthropic giving. Nationally recognized for its work, K-State Proud has been able to help more than 900 students continue their education over the past 15 years.
K-State Proud awards students money through Student Opportunity Awards (SOAs). SOAs are given to degree-seeking students who have a temporary financial need and have exhausted all other financial resources, including loans. When a need arises, applicants submit a statement of need and future outlook, and a student committee reviews their request.
The primary way K-State Proud raises money for SOAs is through Proud Week. Throughout the week, members of the Student Foundation educate students on the importance of philanthropic giving and hold fundraisers through a T-shirt sale. The T-shirts are designed by a K-State student and selected through a design competition.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, K-State Proud leaders had to diversify their approach to philanthropy as there was no longer a way to table for donations at sporting events and in the K-State Student Union. With more students in need than ever before, K-State Proud held its inaugural $15K in a Day event during the fall 2020 semester, which proved to be such a success that it will become an annual event. Students’ perseverance in providing support to their peers during a difficult time represents that K-State Proud is not just a T-shirt sale but an essential resource for students in need.
K-State Proud provides students with a way to get involved with philanthropy while still an undergraduate and demonstrates how contributions of time, talent and treasure can directly support fellow K-Staters.
This year K-State Proud is returning to a two-week time period for Proud Week, which will be held February 14-25, 2022. For more information or to get involved, visit proud.twentyfor.org. Donors can give to the Student Opportunity Award fund year-round and learn more about the campaign at ksufoundation.org/k-stateproud
“The aid I’ve received has helped tremendously in lightening the burden of financial difficulties. Anyone who has dealt with that knows it can put a damper on a lot of things; and for me, that was performing how I know I can in school. Always having the worry of not having enough money to finish college at the back of my mind had left me demotivated for so many days, weeks even, as thoughts of “what’s the point of going on if I can’t even finish one semester flooded my mind.” When COVID-19 took the world by storm, those worrisome voices became even louder making it hard to be productive in multiple ways. Receiving this [award] not only helped renew the hope I had during my freshman year, but it helped me become hopeful for the future. It helped me believe that I still have a shot at my dreams here at K-State. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity, this chance at a fresh start.”Anonymous SOA recipient
“I got second degree burns when hot water spilled on my hand, and I had to rush to the emergency room. I was billed more than $2,000 dollars, out of which insurance covered only $1,000. I had limited savings and was in a major fix when I decided to contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). My ISSS adviser told me about K-state Proud; I applied for it and got the aid. I was extremely thankful for getting the assistance.”Anonymous SOA recipient
“This award is for me a relief from extra financial stress. As this new semester starts, I had no idea how I would afford my day-to-day expenses the first month. Thanks to this award, I have the assurance that I have at least a month of no worries about rent and car insurance. So, I am really thankful!Anonymous SOA recipient
“My GRA income has been the only income to fulfill the family need, housing and my school tuition. It was the worst time for me in my entire life. I had no other way to think about making extra money as I am busy with my thesis write up and research work. It was the K-State Proud Student Opportunity Award that gave us the biggest support. That is why I and my family are still here, taking classes and surviving.”Anonymous SOA recipient
“Last year, K-State Proud had a record-setting year despite all of the obstacles that stood in our way. Our team stepped up to the challenge and brainstormed innovative ideas to raise money to serve students in their time of dire need. We had so much fun running social media campaigns with creative incentives like desserts from our parents, MHK giveaways and even an “expert” oil change from a StuFo member. I can’t wait to see how we incorporate the creativity of last year into the in-person elements of this year!”Sydney Henry
“Proud Week is a time to see the student body really come together and support their peers who cannot support themselves. Getting to see the passion behind students to help other students is a feeling like no other.”Daja Coker
“Last year, Proud Week looked completely different than it ever had before. It was so rewarding to still see students supporting Proud even though we ran a virtual campaign and did not get the opportunity to table in person very much. We also provided a shipping option for the first time, and we were able to reach K-Staters from across the country. It was so fun to see all the familiar names as we shipped out the shirts. Even with the roadblocks of the last year, we were able to develop new ideas and still have a successful Proud Week Campaign.”Baleigh Fry
By Ariana Brancato