During Proud Week, students raise funds to support the continued education of fellow Wildcats
Proud Week is underway and there is still time to donate. Each donation to K-State Proud and the Student Opportunity Award fund supports students in staying at K-State and achieving their academic goals.
At Kansas State University, philanthropy is an important part of the student experience. K-State Proud is a student-led fundraising campaign centered around the mission, “Students Helping Students.” This campaign is nationally recognized for its ability to bring students together and to cultivate a culture of philanthropy.
Each year, K-State Proud hosts Proud Week, which is an opportunity for students to raise awareness for philanthropic need and gather funds for Student Opportunity Awards (SOA). SOAs are granted to degree-seeking students with a temporary need who have exhausted their financial resources, such as taking out loans.
This year, Proud Week is being held March 1-5. During this week, social media will be where K-Staters can donate and pick up t-shirts designed by K-State students. For the first time, shirts can be shipped to generous Proud donors across the country.
Claire McClellan, senior studying bakery science and management, serves as the Student Opportunity Award Chair. She reviews SOA applications along with a committee comprised of Student Foundation members, graduate students and international students. This committee decides how awards will be allotted based on a statement of need and a future outlook from the applicant.
With the financial burdens brought by COVID-19, the number of applicants for SOAs has risen significantly. From March to September 2020, there was a 50% increase in need, which resulted in awarding over $160,000 to students.
Of the students that K-State Proud has supported during the pandemic, one story in particular stands out. An international student who was not able to work during the pandemic had a family member undergo major brain surgery. This student used his savings to support his parents and the medical bills from the surgery. Through an SOA, this student was able to receive support in paying his tuition and finishing his degree.
“So many students are facing financial difficulties at this time, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the need is greater now than ever,” said Maggie Malmberg, president of the Student Foundation. “After reading applications and listening to students’ stories, I am constantly motivated to raise more funds for our students.”
Maggie, now a senior studying biology, knew she wanted to be involved with K-State Proud when she attended orientation and enrollment prior to her freshman year. The opportunity to support other students and share the importance of philanthropy is one of the reasons she loves K-State Proud.
“The K-State Proud campaign provides students the opportunity to make a visible difference in the lives of other students on campus. Being a part of a team of driven, mission-focused student leaders affords me the opportunity to invest my time and energy to give students a valuable educational experience,” said Maggie. “Without the support of donors and philanthropy, I would not have been able to achieve my own educational goals. Every donation to K-State Proud and the Student Opportunity Award fund, no matter the donation amount, is helping students at K-State achieve their degrees.”
To take part in Proud Week, visit K-State Proud (proud.twentyfor.org).
Written by: Ariana Brancato