The FAST Fund at Milwaukee Area Technical College is now two years old, and recently AFT wrote about its impact. There the FAST Fund has “provided $32,000 in direct emergency assistance to 89 students in in the 2017-2018 academic year. Housing insecurity, preventing evictions or securing housing for homeless students, was the single largest area of need (39 students). Other non-tuition costs of attendance was second (18 students); auto assistance accounted for 17 students.”
Diana Thomas benefited from the Milwaukee FAST Fund. As AFT reports, before she enrolled at MATC, she worked two jobs and saved as much as she could so she could pay for a program that would earn her a degree in nursing—her dream job. When she left one job to attend classes, she had just enough money for tuition, rent, food, gas and books—but she nearly dropped out because she couldn’t afford the iPad required for the RN associate program. The FAST Fund stepped in to pay for the iPad, and she stayed in school.”
Here are other examples of how students have used support from the FAST Fund:
- A student had taken five early childhood education courses and paid for her Early Childhood Administrator credential. She did not have the $300 license fee that would allow her to be employed. The FAST Fund was used to paid the $300 fee.
- A male business student was homeless for three weeks after aging out of foster care. Spending nights at Dunkin Donuts, he was living out of his suitcase and cleaning up at MATC at 6 AM when it opened. Immaculately dressed in suit and tie, he broke down explaining his circumstances. The FAST Fund provided him with $345 to secure temporary housing and purchase food.
- Provided $700 to a DACA student who was working 60 hours a week and going to school full-time in the dental tech program in order to reduce her hours and focus on her education.
- A paralegal student, the working mother of four children under the age of ten, was abandoned by her partner, who left her with very little money. She and her children were facing eviction because she was $400 short on her rent. The Fast Fund provided her with the money to prevent the eviction.