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Homeless Scholar Flex Fund

Alyssa Gorkin

Colorado

The Homeless Scholar Flex Fund is a program that helps homeless students address their non-educational needs. The program's goal is to keep students on the path to graduation!

Updates from Flex Fund for the EEqual Scholarship Awards Program


July, 2022
Hey! I’m excited to introduce myself and my organization! My name is Alyssa Gorkin (she/her) and my Call for Kindness project is the Flex Fund for the EEqual Scholarship Awards Program. EEqual is a by-youth-for-youth nonprofit working with students experiencing homelesness. I co-founded EEqual in 2016 after learning how few leadership opportunities existed for young people in the nonprofit sector. Paired with how underrepresented unhoused students are in higher education, EEqual and the EEqual Scholarship Awards Program were formed.

Since receiving our tax exemption in 2016 we have continued to face doubts about the ability for young people to lead in this capacity. However, we haven’t let that stop us, we have committed over $100,000 in scholarships and are currently supporting 36 students in higher education. This is where my project comes in. Going to college is expensive, far more expensive than any single scholarship accounts for. The expenses outside of the classroom add up. Our previous scholars expressed to us that they needed support with non-educational expenses, things like groceries, gas, bus passes, medical expenses, and personal care items. In order to meet these needs I designed the flex fund. The flex fund is a micro grants program for current EEqual scholars. It can be used to support non-educational expenses in order to further support our students. Because of Riley’s Way, the flex fund is no longer just an idea, but a reality. This past week I got to introduce the fund to our incoming scholars. Their reactions speak volumes about what I am looking forward to in the coming months of this fund. I am beyond excited to see how this fund is used and the ways in which small dollar (under $300) expenses can make meaningful differences for our students. It is easy to get caught up in big numbers and high yield but what makes this work so important to me is getting to see the first hand impact that our program can have on students.

Outside of my passion for educational equity I am a rising junior at Reed College in Portland, OR. Here I’m studying Psychology with a double minor in Music and Economics (I’m a bit indecisive). I hope to get my PhD after graduating. In my free time I enjoy embroidering, taking care of my house plants, playing with my cat, and cooking.