Impact Profile, Jared J., ’20

Kent State senior Jared J. was in the middle of a clinical rotation for nursing when COVID-19 hit, completely changing the way his courses were structured. But the pandemic also disrupted other areas of his life. His employer couldn’t afford to keep all their employees on staff, and Jared lost his job.

He applied for unemployment, but he experienced issues with the system that prevented him from receiving assistance. His parents couldn’t offer any additional support as they were dealing with their own expenses.

“I’m a hard worker, and I save my money,” Jared said. “I had an emergency fund of some cash that I kept back at home. I’ve had it for six or seven years, and I always told myself not to touch it unless I absolutely needed it.”

Suddenly, he needed to access his emergency fund, but his savings quickly dwindled as he used it to pay for necessities. He applied for the Kent State Emergency Grant Fund and hoped assistance would come in time to help him pay for rent.

Fortunately, just a few hours after spending his last $20, his tax return hit his bank account. The Kent State Emergency Grant Fund support followed soon after. When he saw the emails about the grant money in his student account, they moved him to tears of relief.

“You’re doing a great thing. You’re really helping people,” Jared said of those who contributed to the fund. “You don’t have to donate $2 million.”

“You might be donating $20, but that $20 might be what someone needs for their rent or some groceries.”

For Jared, the COVID-19 pandemic also brought newfound concerns about his future career.

“I’m going to be a nurse in about a year. If something like this were to happen again, I don’t know if everyone would be as prepared as we’re supposed to be,” Jared said. “I don’t want to be in a position where I’m trying to help people, but I’m also putting myself at risk unnecessarily.”

Despite his worries, the pandemic hasn’t deterred him from pursuing his nursing degree. He still plans to graduate and become a nurse. As a self-proclaimed people person, Jared enjoys helping others and the ability to impact people in a positive way.

“Nursing is a multi-dimensional field,” Jared said. “We’re in hospitals. We’re in homes. We’re in schools. Nurses bring an important aspect of relationship building and compassion to healthcare, and they play a big role in how an entire community works.”

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

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