Impact Profile, Frederick T., ’21

As an international student at Kent State, Frederick T., ’21, found himself in a unique and highly stressful position when COVID-19 descended on the U.S. Frederick hails from Ghana and Qatar. He chose Kent State University because it was one of the few universities that offered his major, biotechnology. He was also drawn to the peaceful learning environment, and his sister was also enrolled at Kent State, so he had family nearby.

When the pandemic hit, Frederick found himself between a rock and a hard place.

“As an international student, I had to deal with tuition payments, rent and other bills that were due, plus adjust to online learning,” he said.

“My plans for the summer became totally uncertain. Traveling back home was not an option since the airports are shut down.”

“Because I am on an F-1 visa I’m restricted to on-campus work, so finding a job would be extremely difficult. I had no idea how I would be able take care of myself. It left me very worn out towards the end of the semester.”

The desperation of his situation led Frederick to apply for aid from the Kent State Emergency Grant Fund. The funding he received came quickly. It guaranteed that he had enough to take care of his rent for the month and relieved some of the stress he felt. It also gave him the freedom to focus on his academic work.

“I was very thankful when I saw that I was receiving aid,” said Frederick.

“It showed me that you are never alone at Kent State. I was joyous because I knew I would have a roof over my head and be able to complete the semester.”

Frederick sees the emergency fund as an investment in the future leaders and innovators of the world. “The smallest contribution can guarantee that someone does not go a day or more without food,” he said. “Any amount is appreciated, and as a Christian, I believe every donation will be returned and multiplied.”

Frederick is grateful that Kent State and its alumni have prioritized students' wellbeing in these tough times. “The phrase ‘Flashes Take Care of Flashes’ is exactly what this emergency fund stands for,” he said. “To me, it means no matter where you are from, no matter what your situation is, no matter where you are now, Kent State is always looking out for you. That spirit has led me to support my fellow students through online tutoring with the Academic Success Center. Paying it forward is what makes Flashes so special.”

To help more students like Frederick, visit the website and make a secure online gift to the Kent State Emergency Grant Fund.

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