Students Rally for Financial Aid

March 03, 2011

The annual Student Financial Aid Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), was a huge success. Nearly 140 participants representing 20 schools went to the State House to ask legislators for their continued support of financial aid, particularly in this challenging economic environment.

Four Wheelock students attended the event, visiting Senator Steven Tolman and Representative Gloria Fox. The Wheelock students (pictured below in Sen. Tolman's office) were: Monique Brunner (2012, major: Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy), Cassandra Tavaras (2011, major: Human Development) , Jennifer Corcoran (2012, Graduate program: Master of Social Work MSW), and Brittany Wheaton (2011 major: American Studies Focus on Race & Minority Groups, minor in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy) .

Wheelock students at Financial Aid event"Amidst all that is occurring in the political world, I felt empowered and privileged to be able to walk into my State House, and speak up and out for a cause I believe in," said Brittany Wheaton, Wheelock Black Student Union-Ujima President. "Over the last few week, the news has covered several international stories that exhibit the struggle other people are facing in their attempt to 'speak up.' With this in mind, I not only attended the financial Day for the Wheelock community, but for the millions of other global students who only dream, or fight for the educational opportunities Wheelock has so generously supplied."

The students were rallied by House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) and the Co-chairs of the Higher Education Committee, Senator Michael Moore (D-Worcester) and Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland). All of them spoke of the importance of higher education, and how personal visits to the State House make a huge impact, putting a "face" to line item.

Afterwards, the students fanned out across the State House, making appeals for continued support, leaving behind thank you cards and a small token of gratitude, home baked cookies, which are always appreciated by staff!

"I thought the event was wonderful," said Wheelock student Cassandra Tavaras. "I am glad that I had the opportunity to represent Wheelock and my position on the budget cuts for financial aid."

The event attracted much press attention, including State House News Service, FOX-TV, WBZ-TV, Lowell Sun, Metrowest Daily News, Fitchburg Sentinel and New England Cable News.

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