My name is Dr. Stacey Patton. I am a research associate professor at the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, an historically black college located in Baltimore, Maryland.
When I began teaching journalism at Morgan in 2016, I noticed that a number of my students were struggling to keep up with their assignments. Upon further investigation, I discovered that they had not purchased books for class because they could not afford them. As many of you probably know, the costs to attend college have skyrocketed over the past few decades. Paying for tuition, housing, meals, and books is often a struggle for many students across the country.
The majority of Morgan's students receive financial assistance. Some of them struggle with food and housing insecurity and other challenges. Many are first-generation students who don't receive support from their family. Some are single parents juggling work and school. Since my goal as an educator is to make sure my students succeed, I decided to do my part to help out. So for the past five semesters I've raised closed to $60,000 with the help of generous folks from across the country!
Here's how the program works . . .
Each semester the goal is to raise $10,000, which generally helps around 40 students. Each student, regardless of their major, is required to complete a form and provide a list of their book titles. They will receive a maximum of $250 on a first come, first served basis. The students purchase their books via Amazon.com or from the campus bookstore. The funds go very quickly, and sadly, I have to turn away students because the need is so great.
I’ve heard from many recipients that this textbook fund has made a huge difference in their ability to perform well and complete their coursework. So, I hope that you'll take a moment and give what you can spare. No amount is too small. Our students appreciate your generosity.
What we invest in our young people today, we invest in the future.