Finding Financial Relief

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Abdlrahman Ramadan has no family living nearby and relies entirely on himself as he juggles his studies and work.

He works part-time for a local retailer, and the money helped pay rent for his apartment. But then the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to close, and Ramadan was scared because he had no family support here.

“The last month has been rough because everything suddenly changed and I didn’t know what to do,” said Ramadan, a rising junior majoring in biology, in May. “I was relying entirely on my job, even though it was only part-time.”Abdlrahman Ramadan

Then he got an email about UNC Charlotte’s Student Emergency Fund, established to financially support students with emergency expenses, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I just applied immediately,” Ramadan said. “I was so glad that I saw this coming.”

There are many UNC Charlotte students like Ramadan who are in need of financial assistance. The University raised a total of $470,474 for the Student Emergency Fund, awarding $430,500 to 1,231 students. The money helps students with necessities such as paying rent and buying groceries, reducing the stress associated with lost jobs and disrupted work and school schedules. 

Ramadan said the money that the emergency fund gave him paid for his rent and other monthly expenses.

Riley WeberThe Student Emergency Fund also provided security for Riley Weber, a master’s degree student and research assistant in High Performance Computing. Weber and two fellow UNC Charlotte students shared an apartment during the spring semester. One of Weber’s roommates had been laid off due to the pandemic, and they were worried about paying their rent. 

Weber said they reached out to their landlord about the problem, but received no help.

“My only sources of income are loans, which the school keeps pretty limited for good reason, and then I have my research position,” Weber said.

Then Weber got an email from Fatma Mili, dean of the College of Computing and Informatics, that mentioned the Student Emergency Fund. Weber applied, receiving enough money to pay for living expenses.

“I felt like I had somewhere to turn,” Weber said.

Please consider making a gift to the Student Emergency Fund. The Demond and Kia Martin Foundation matched dollar-for-dollar the first $100,000 gifts made to the Student Emergency Fund. Demond ’97 and Kia ’98 are longtime supporters of the University.