Today I want to share an economic sustainability program that one of the undergraduate students at NC State created last year. She received grant funding for that program, and it is directly related to providing resources for under-resourced college students. Hopefully it is a program that can be duplicated with other low-income students.

I work at NC State University. It’s a land-grant Research I institution serving about 32,000 students. The intern who created the program graduated in May 2016 and is now working in sociological research. She’s hoping to go on to graduate work in sociology. She worked with me and with under-resourced college students as part of an internship program through her sociology major requirements.

What we came up with is that we wanted to have the students not spend as much of their financial aid money on furniture and household items. That money needed to be devoted to more important, crucial activities that benefited their academic careers. So we wanted to make sure to get these items in the best way possible. One of the challenges for a student is that you may say, “Oh, well, go to Goodwill, or get that donor to leave those items at their house.” However, most of our students don’t have access to the type of transportation they would need to pick up those items.

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