Last spring, half way through earning her degree, Catherine Cher was notified by OSAP that her student loan payment would be delayed at least eight weeks.
“I was freaking out,” confesses the single mother, who was already $40,000 in debt. “I’m almost a straight-A student, but I wasn’t going to be able to pay rent. Sure, I could move into a friend’s house, but this is my daughter’s home we’re talking about.”
Without any financial wiggle room, Cher felt at a loss about what she could do.
Looking for solutions, she walked into the office of the dean of students on Laurier's Waterloo campus, started to tear up and was told straight away there was help available, thanks to Laurier’s Student Emergency Fund.
“For the first time since hearing from OSAP, I could breathe again," she says. "The impact that this kind of stress has on your mental health – this kind of safety net can be life or death – especially knowing that sometimes things come up and there’s no easy fix.”
From an arts student struggling with depression who couldn’t cover rent, to a second-year student who couldn’t afford to replace her broken eyeglasses, to hard-working students like Cher facing unexpected financial emergencies, Laurier's Student Emergency Fund is increasingly relied upon by students.
This emergency funding has helped hundreds of Golden Hawks continue their education. Still, more than half of students seeking support from the emergency fund are turned away because there is not enough money available.
You can be the Catalyst for students in need at Laurier by making a donation to the Student Emergency Fund today. Make your gift online at laurieralumni.ca/give.