Razorback Community Rallies to Help Students
Annika Pollard moved to Fayetteville in May 2019 with her husband, James, to begin law school at the U of A. James is also pursuing a master's degree in teaching from John Brown University and started teaching in the public school system during the spring semester.
When COVID-19 began to take effect on the area, Annika and her husband were forced to move out of their rental property and incurred many expenses related to a move, including down payments, administrative fees and moving fees that were unanticipated.
"My husband is only on a six-month teaching contract, and we knew in advance he wouldn't get paid through the summer, so we saved up all year to make sure we'd have enough money. But, due to the move, all of that 'safety net' was eaten up," Pollard said.
The couple hit numerous dead ends in their quest for help, since James had not lost his job due to COVID-19. Annika took on three jobs of her own to make ends meet but then decided to apply for the Law School Emergency Fund on a whim.
"I was overwhelmed with gratitude when I saw that the fund granted more money than I originally asked for," she said. "I am so incredibly grateful for the Law School Emergency Fund and for the stress that it diminished for both me and my husband. If not for this fund, I would have most likely had to drop out of my summer class to work more hours, and I needed that class for an internship opportunity in the fall. I cannot thank everyone enough. I'm very lucky to go to a law school that cares for its students so deeply."
The emergency funding available to Annika and her peers in the School of Law was largely made possible thanks to a $25,000 grant from AccessLex, which jumpstarted the fund. AccessLex has established a nationwide $5 million law student emergency relief program and is helping law schools across the country.
At the U of A, the Law School Emergency Fund is one of five emergency funds being used by students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and several have provided support for students for years.
As of June 1, more than $85,000 had been raised for student emergency funding, thanks to donations from alumni, organizations, faculty, staff and friends. A total of 149 awards have been made to help counter the financial difficulties being faced by students like Annika.
Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
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