Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), led by President Randi Weingarten, announced a $100,000 investment in the Believe in Students' FAST Fund program. Believe in Students is a nonprofit organization that helps college students facing financial security meet their basic needs. The FAST Fund is an emergency aid program that quickly identifies students struggling to meet basic needs and helps them get the support they need.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the majority of college students report they have struggled to meet basic needs. Without these needs being met, students face additional barriers to success. The AFT investment will provide funds for 14 existing union-affiliated FAST Fund sites, launch five new sites and provide technical and logistical support.
“College students are consistently burdened by the financial means required to keep up with their studies—and COVID-19 has only increased those stressors. All too often, students have to give up on their dreams of a better future simply because they can’t afford it,” Weingarten said. “The FAST Fund gives students peace of mind by providing cash to those who can’t afford gas to get to campus, the textbooks necessary to keep up in class or even to keep the lights on in their homes. It’s crucial we invest in the future of our country by providing them with the support and resources to thrive.”