June 21, 2017

East Central Community College in Decatur was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi (WFM) for implementation of a Women's Emergency Assistance Fund that will provide emergency funds for transportation or auto repairs, childcare, medical expenses, and other temporary financial needs to help women stay in school.

Dr. Teresa Houston, ECCC vice president for instruction, said, “The ultimate goal of the grant is to help increase the completion rate of women attending East Central Community College through the establishment of a discretionary fund.  This fund would assist them with temporary emergency financial needs that are not covered by traditional financial aid. The college is excited about the grant award and the opportunity to impact the lives of female students with financial difficulties in a way that we could not otherwise.” 

The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi has awarded a total of $670,000 in grants to non-profit organizations and community colleges across the state for the 2017 funding cycle. The 16 recipients of the grants stretch across the state and provide programs to women in the areas of access to opportunity/community college, planned pregnancy, and two-generation/better futures.

“We know that when women thrive, so does our state,” noted Tracy DeVries, executive director of WFM. “That’s why we award grants to programs that drive social change and have a lasting impact on women and their families.

“Through the support of national foundations, corporate sponsors, and our generous individual donors, the Women’s Foundation has grown from awarding $68,000 in grants in its first year of funding to the current annual level that is close to $700,000. With the 2017 funding cycle, we have awarded $2.8 million since 2012 and have impacted more than 4,000 women across the state.”

“Our grant-making focus aligns with our belief that all women should have the opportunity to obtain degrees or credentials, good jobs with benefits, and to plan their pregnancies,” noted Latisha Latiker, director of grant programming at WFM.  “The range of programs we explored through the grantmaking process was enlightening. Throughout the application and review process and the 2,000 miles of in-state travel for site visits, it was inspiring to see the programs that are focused on social change, despite the shortage of funds and resources. We are thrilled to support a broad range of programs that will help women and their families on their path to economic security.”

For more information on the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi, visit womensfoundationms.org.