Twenty homeless, college-bound students are going to receive laptops and nearly $2,000 each from the first-ever Win Scholarship Fund, which was established with a donation from the couple, the organization announced on Tuesday.
The scholarships and laptops will be critical in helping students overcome the additional barriers in their lives created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students experiencing homelessness face heightened obstacles to accessing technology, books, transportation, and other essentials that often aren‘t covered by their financial aid.
Despite these challenges, Win students have still made some remarkable achievements. 60 percent of graduating high school seniors at Win are beginning this fall at colleges nationwide, which includes Syracuse University, Clark Atlanta University, and Portland State University.
“Mark and I are so excited to help these students in whatever small way we can,” Ripa said about the endeavor ”Starting college is a pivotal moment for so many and being a part of this time is really special for our family. We know each of these scholarship recipients has a bright future ahead and we can‘t wait to see what amazing things they accomplish!”
Mikayla Garay, a student attending SUNY Morrisville, currently lives on campus while her family remains at a Win shelter in the Bronx.
“As a student at SUNY Morrisville studying equine science to one day become a vet, I take classes off-campus at nearby stables,” she says. “I‘ll use this money to buy books and to save up for a car to get to and from my classes off-campus.”
Another student living in Win supportive housing in the Bronx, Michael Jones, is headed to Portland State University in the fall.
“Despite the fires that are currently ripping through the West Coast, I am still determined to attend Portland State University and major in Creative Writing there,” Jones says. ”The scholarship from Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos is a major help to my college career and will help me purchase books, dorm essentials and other necessities, which will put me in a strong position toward success in my freshman year.”
Win‘s president and CEO, Christine C. Quinn, says the organization is “so grateful” to Ripa and Consuelos for supporting their students and ”helping to make their college dreams a reality.”
“Thanks to their generous donation, these students no longer have to worry about buying books or paying for a ride home, and can focus on what‘s the most important: succeeding in their studies,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Kelly and Mark have supported the Win students. Last spring, the couple donated $500,000 to the organization to purchase iPads, laptops, and headphones for hundreds of students in addition to designating money for the Win Scholarship Fund.