Students Helping Students Fund

Tabatha Lumley.

Tabatha Lumely, MSW '14, first recipient of the fund.

Who better than a school full of social work students to lend a hand in a good cause?

At the start of the fall 2013 semester, the cause was social work students who might need a hand themselves, and, of course, the students stepped up. The School of Social Work’s first-ever Random Acts of Coffee challenge encouraged students (and faculty) to donate an amount equal to a week’s worth of coffee purchases to start a new fund called Students Helping Students.

The fund would help students through emergencies that might otherwise disrupt their progress in the MSW program. When the campaign ended, the challenge had raised $3,000.

Almost immediately, sadly, an MSW student (now alum) needed help the fund could provide.

Second-year student Tabatha Lumley, an immigrant from Jamaica, lost her sister, Kadijah, in a traffic accident caused by a drunk driver in Rochester, N.Y. Lumley was preparing to take out a loan to pay for airfare to Jamaica for Kadijah’s burial when a classmate discovered her plight and asked the fund to step in.

So now, while Tabatha is still burdened with the loss of her sister, she doesn’t have an extra loan to pay back, as well. She’s the first student the fundraising helped. There will be a next, and a next so long as life goes on.

If you want to help make sure the fund will always have resources to cover the needs, you can pitch in. You don’t have to be a student, you just have to care.

Need Assistance?

The Students Helping Students Fund is created and supported by social work students (and many others) to provide short-term assistance to fellow students who face sudden changes that could prevent them from staying in school. 

Whether the sudden change is a death in the family, illness or economic hardship, the Students Helping Students Fund's goal is to provide support so they can remain in school.