“Two weeks before the pandemic hit,
I was enrolled at the University of Maine at Machias and working two jobs. I was a CNA at a nursing home and waitressing at a local pizza shop. My fiance, Alex, was in school full-time for heating and plumbing. I was also pregnant with our second child, who was due in March. We had saved up just enough money so I could take a few weeks off for maternity leave, and I let my boss know I’d be back.
Then the pandemic hit.
The pizza shop shut down, and with a newborn baby at home, I couldn't risk working at the nursing home because of the threat of contracting COVID-19. Alex's classes were canceled and without certification, he couldn't get a job in his field. I didn't know if we'd have enough money for diapers and food, and stayed awake at night worrying that our car would be repossessed. We were barely scraping by. This whole time I was still trying to keep up with my college coursework. Midterms were coming – and my computer died.
Then my JMG College Success Specialist, Tara Poole, called. She told me JMG had raised emergency funds to help students get through the crisis. She sent us a gift card for groceries and paid our car bill for the month. I was shocked and in tears. When she said she would be sending me a new laptop so I could take my midterms, I said I couldn't accept it; that JMG had already done so much. We fought – and she won. When JMG says they support their students, they don’t just mean in the classroom. Because of JMG's help, my family is OK and I'm not only still in school, I made honor roll! I am forever grateful."