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Students win grants to assist Stillwater non-profits

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


OSU students Fatima Pina and Andrew Hawkins are helping Stillwater non-profit organizations expand their services for seniors and the needy.

Oklahoma Campus Compact announced on Dec. 20 that Pina and Hawkins each received $1,000 Carter Foundation grants for proposals that will benefit the Stillwater Senior Center and the Mission of Hope.

“I provide classes at the senior center free of charge and I am not sure if I will be able to continue to provide these classes after I graduate,” said Pina, a nutritional sciences senior. “I applied for this grant to provide the needed funds to pay for students who are willing to provide the educational services for a small fee.”

Pina’s proposal called for an increase in the nutritional and personal health support for Stillwater Senior Center clients. Hawkins was selected for a proposal that focuses on financial literacy with the homeless population. 

A committee chosen by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education reviewed student applicants from 32 state and private higher learning institutions that are a part of the Oklahoma Campus Compact, an organization promoting civic engagement among college students.

The foundation originally planned to award one grant, but due to the quality of the applications and increased funding, opted to fund two.

The students will be formally recognized and receive their checks at the State’s Regents meeting on Feb. 8.

Hawkins, an economics senior, plans to use the money develop presenter guides, handouts, participant workbooks, resource/reference binders and other financial education tools. He envisions students giving financial literacy presentations to clients at the Mission of Hope homeless shelter in Stillwater and to high school and middle school students.

“Students In Free Enterprise and Oklahoma Money Matters are organizations that focus on financial literacy and teaching anyone and everyone willing to listen the importance of money management skills,” Hawkins said. “One of the projects includes working with the Mission of Hope homeless shelter teaching the homeless financial literacy skills, a group we chose because often these individuals are overlooked in today’s society. With a little community support, these individuals could be back on their feet in no time.”

Pina said the grant she was awarded will benefit the senior population and the OSU community by educating them about portion control and healthy eating. The funds she receives will be used to purchase kitchen equipment, cookbooks and handouts, printing supplies, intern costs and to bring in speakers. 

Hawkins and Pina will begin their projects in the coming weeks and complete them by the end of the semester.

“In general I would like to tell everyone to get out and volunteer,” Hawkins said. “The feeling you get by helping someone in need is the greatest feeling in the world.”




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