Special to The Dallas Examiner
“If there is one thing that COVID-19 allowed all of us to see is that there is a difference between those who are able to work from home and those who are considered essential and have to go to work even when the world is in a pandemic. What undoubtedly is included in that difference is whether or not an individual has a college degree and work in a field where he or she can “telework.” It also exposed to all of us the disparity that exists in this country related to health, wealth and socio-economic barriers faced by some Americans,” according to representatives at Jarvis Christian College, an HBCU located in Hawkins, Texas.
During the summer, JCC’s president and his cabinet took a look at the impact that COVID-19 had on people of color and subsequently upon their students. As corporations, the federal government and other entities were providing some relief to Americans, the college decided that it would do likewise for the students who have committed to earning their college degree through the Jarvis Cares Program.
The program stems from the Jarvis Promise … “commitment to keep JCC accessible and affordable.” It is designed to reduce the students’ debt by an amount up to $10,000.00, which is Jarvis’ way of assisting students with their dream of obtaining a college degree that can make a difference in how and where they work. To qualify, students will have to follow three simple steps: register for the 2020 Fall semester, complete their FAFSA and create their UNCF Profile. They will receive 50% of the reduction in their balance when they successfully complete the fall semester and the other 50% when they successfully complete the spring semester.
Most often, students leave college because they are overwhelmed by financing their education. Jarvis Cares gives them the chance to reduce their balance and continue on to completion.
“We wanted our students to know that during this difficult time that we value them and want to see them succeed. Jarvis Cares helps us to do that for our students,” said Dr. Lester C. Newman, JCC president.
In addition to the student debt forgiveness, the program seeks to address issues related to the digital and technological divide that has been made evident during this pandemic when educational institutions had to quickly transition from face to face classes to remote and distance learning modalities. When survey results showed that students at JCC were being negatively impacted because of their lack of access to the internet and Wi-Fi, the college decided to provide needing students with laptops that have Wi-Fi capability beginning in the fall.
“This will allow our students to have the technology they need to be successful in their classes whether they are on campus or at home. This is what Jarvis Christian College is about, helping our students to succeed and make a difference in this global society,” Newman stated.
Information on the debt forgiveness program and how to access the technology support, is available by contacting Brandy Gray, student account representative at 903-730-4890 ext. 2710 or Chris Watson, director of Information Technology at 903-730-4890 ext. 3603.