How we did




93% of students learned more about the needs of their community because of SSF

91% of students see themselves as someone who gives back to the community

96% of students would recommend SSF to their friends

Bridgewater College

Bridgewater, VA

President Fatime C.
Founded 2015

The Bridgewater College SSF club overcame several obstacles to have a successful 2020-2021 school year. Of their grants this year, 66 percent went to academic needs and 34 percent went to non-academic needs, including rent and car payments, child care assistance and more.

The SSF club surpassed their fundraising goal by creating a presentation to inform Bridgewater faculty and staff about SSF. At the beginning of this year, clubs at Bridgewater College were restricted from using an electronic system to accept donations. With all club meetings and classes happening remotely, however, the school needed to find a solution to this restriction. SSF partnered with the Bridgewater College Office of Advancement to create and pioneer a new electronic payment system.

Many of this year’s applicants faced financial difficulty due to the pandemic. There was an applicant whose mother was an elementary school bus driver who experienced a significant loss of income and was not eligible for unemployment. The applicant and their sister had to return to college but could only work part-time. The family was evicted and forced to move out of their home of six years. They requested a grant from SSF just to keep themselves above water. Every year, the club faces challenges and difficult applications but this grant application stood out as particularly memorable and impactful.

I have been a part of the Student Support Foundation for four years now. Prior to joining, I didn’t fully understand philanthropy. I’ve gained so much knowledge that can be applied in any and every aspect of my life. I can honestly say no other club or organization I’ve been a part of has had that effect on me. The impact we have on our community and on one another is truly encouraging.

- Bridgewater SSF student

Dubuque Senior High

Dubuque, IA

President Joe D.
Founded 2019

Dubuque Senior High School’s SSF club ended their second year as a club with flying colors. They provided a total of $5,277 in grants to students, teachers, and school departments.

Their grants supported individual students and their families who needed assistance with payments for groceries, gas and other necessities. They also funded several teacher and school needs, including new band equipment, supplies for Special Olympics, dissection tools and science books for the science department, and more. One of the most special grants they made this year was to a staff member who needed help buying clothes and other items for herself and her kids. The SSF club was able to provide even more than requested and the stores where she purchased items gave her an additional discount. 

For their volunteer project, the SSF club contributed time and donations to the school’s Giving Room, which supplies Dubuque Senior High School students with food, toiletries and more.  The experience allowed the group to connect with members of the school and community. 


Along with Hempstead High School, the Dubuque SSF Club were featured in an article by a local news outlet about their grantmaking and philanthropy!

I was surprised by just how many students were living with the burden of financial issues. I like to consider myself informed, but the sheer number of grant applications that we have received for necessities such as internet, food, and clothing is shocking. These are things that no teenager should have to worry about. I am extremely grateful to be a part of a group that has the ability to lift burdens off of students’ shoulders and allow them to thrive in my school’s community.

- Dubuque Senior SSF student

Dunnellon High School

Dunnellon, FL

Co-President Jaimon R.
Co-President Jordan V.
Founded 2015

The Dunnellon High School SSF Club is dedicated to making their school a more equitable and welcoming place through providing grants to fund classroom and facility resources and improvements as well as financial aid to students for in-school needs.

In the 2020-2021 school year, Dunnellon SSF granted a total of $6,951 to needs across the school. Their largest grant of $2,400 went toward purchasing new graphing calculators for the math department, which was critical because many students cannot afford to purchase their own. The SSF club invested in the school’s library, helping to purchase new books, new decorations and new tools such as laminating film.

In the spring semester, they provided funds to the Dunnellon High School boys’ and girls’ tennis teams to purchase tennis balls, which is always the largest expense for the teams. The donation allowed the teams to not have to extensively fundraise and practice more instead. As a result, the boys’ team finished with an overall record of 6-2 – the best team record in over fifteen years. The girls’ team finished with a winning record for the first time in five years. Two players were nominated for the all-county team. For the first time in DHS boy’s tennis history, one of the players was offered a tennis scholarship. Each player finished the year on the honor roll.

As the tennis coach said, “[The SSF] donation had a DIRECT IMPACT on the success of these wonderful young people.”

The remainder of the SSF club funds went toward ensuring all school departments and students were equipped with the supplies they need for success, including purchasing headphones to enable deaf or hard of hearing students to listen to audiobooks.

It’s great to see the positive repercussions of long-term actions, and to see the faces of the people that you help directly, whether in the food pantry, or seeing them smile on doughnut Wednesdays. It has also taught me how to look for things that need improvement around the school.

- Dunnellon SSF student

Hempstead High School

Dubuque, IA

President Samantha B.
Founded 2019

Hempstead’s SSF club went full-steam ahead into the 2020-2021 school year – their second year ever. Students began the year with fundraisers in a local Panera and a Pancheros restaurant. 

In the fall semester, they provided grants to the school’s debate team, theatre department and wellness department. In the spring semester, they continued to provide support where needed across campus. SSF granted money for new Literary Society novels and a “Battle of the Books” event, a 3D marine biology model, Chess Club materials, and to the women’s basketball program.

They rounded out the year by partnering with Hempstead High School Student Government to fund and create welcome kits for substitute teachers and for “grab and go” craft bags for the library. 

The club’s generosity didn’t go unnoticed at school or in the larger community. The SSF clubs at both Hempstead High School and Dubuque Senior High School were featured in an article by a local news outlet about their grantmaking and philanthropy!

Even the smallest contributions can make a big impact in the community. One of the smallest grants we gave out this year was a dissection model for our marine biology class. By giving out this grant, we helped a visually impaired student participate in dissections with everyone else. It felt good to help out this specific student’s school life, and many others who this model may affect in the future.

- Hempstead SSF student

Madison West High School

Madison, WI

Co-President Annabelle T.
Co-President Tamea J.
Founded 2007

It was a busy year for the Madison West Student Support Foundation! They continued to support the community in their focus areas of equity, education and environment.

Their grants went to diverse causes across the community and showcase the breadth and depth of the club’s work. Examples of how they supported students include giving a scholarship to a student pursuing a degree in education, providing headsets and access to virtual platforms for online learning and purchasing CPR equipment for health classes. They spent the bulk of their funds and time to restock the West Wellness Pantry with clothing, personal hygiene supplies, toiletries and non-perishable food for students and families in need.

They supported student organizations by purchasing yoga mats, cushions, and blankets for students to practice mindfulness in the school’s Mindfulness Club, building student pride through the purchase of masks for students in the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program and Black Student Union (BSU) club and providing an opportunity for the Asian United Club at West to teambuild, design workshops and raise awareness.

I had no idea that a club like SSF existed. I think it is one of the most useful clubs that a school could have. The ability to give out funds while helping your community reach their goals is a wonderful thing.

- Madison West SSF student

Mesa Community College

Mesa, Arizona

President Maria D.
New Club! Founded 2020

The 2020-2021 school year was the inaugural year for SSF at Mesa Community College in Phoenix, AZ. After launching during the pandemic and facing all the challenges associated with it, the club was a consistent force of positivity and enthusiasm.

The club kicked off the year by meeting with the President of the college and Chief Development Officer to learn about grant funding and how to ensure long term success. They proceeded to successfully fund 17 students in the fall semester, giving over $3,700. One student reported that his Student Support Foundation stipend prevented him from becoming homeless until he received his first paycheck from his new job. Another student ran out of medication she takes for a serious heart condition and her stipend covered close to a month’s worth of heart medication.

The club capped off the fall semester with a service project: writing notes of encouragement to add to food bags from the school’s food pantry, the Mesa Market.

At the end of the year, the Mesa SSF club surprised their school’s food pantry, Mesa Market, with a $1,137.75 grant. Mesa Market was shut down for in-person visits during the pandemic but it continued to serve students through curbside pick-up for food, school supplies and hygiene products. The grant from SSF allowed the market to maintain its current services and offer even more benefits to students.

Our team has met weekly since the beginning of summer and I cannot express enough how proud I am of our student leaders coming together, during a time when everyone is in need, to help other students. This truly has been a journey and although it was not without some growing pains, it has been a worthwhile one at that. We are so grateful to have been given this opportunity to help others.

- Maria D., SSF Advisor

Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar

Calmar, IA

New Club! Founded 2020

The 2020-2021 school year was the inaugural year for Calmar NE’s SSF Club! They kicked off during an exceptionally challenging year but successfully made their first grants and took steps toward growing their club and impact.

This year, Calmar NE granted a total of $2,200 within their community. The club supported the school’s Diversity Club with a $1,000 grant. The club also fulfilled two grant requests from fellow students. One grant supported a local student with Bell’s Palsy who was unable to work due to COVID-19. The student requested assistance to help cover travel expenses to and from classes and to re-register for the next semester. Another grant supported a student from Virginia who had to take classes online due to the pandemic. The funding helped the student to purchase a personal laptop. Before receiving help from SSF, the student was taking classes via mobile phone due to lack of access to a computer.

I learned that taking care of each other is easy to do, and that sometimes another person only needs a little help to get their life back on track. The important thing is to listen to others and help when we can.

- Calmar NE SSF student

Northeast Iowa Community College - Dubuque/Peosta

Peosta, IA

New Club! Founded 2020

This was the first year for the Northeast Iowa Community College SSF club at the Dubuque/Peosta campus. Despite starting during an unusual year, they rose to the challenges they faced.

They supported individual students through grants for internet expenses to enable virtual learning and daycare expenses so student parents could remain enrolled. The SSF club also supported the school’s Diversity Club with a $1,000 grant to advance their mission of supporting diverse students.

One notable grant helped a student with transportation needs in order to stay in school. After receiving the critical funds, the student reached out personally to many SSF members to express thanks and share how the grant was a game changer.

For their first volunteer experience, the SSF club hosted a donor celebration run by student volunteers. The President of SSF served as the keynote speaker. The event was very well received, with both students and donors reporting feeling empowered.

I felt honored to be a part of SSF and to support students just like me. Being a member taught me that life happens to all of us and impacts each of us differently. Even if you can’t help everyone, you may be able to provide them with alternate resources. I felt I was in a position to help students that were struggling, even if all I could do was vote for their need or emergency. I am so thankful for the experience to be a part of this organization and provide support and resources for students.

- Dubuque/Peosta SSF student

Olympia High School

Orlando, FL

President Marcus C.
Founding Club, Founded 2003

The Olympia High School SSF club continued to support their three main areas of funding in the 2020-2021 school year: academics, athletics and the arts. Even in a unique and challenging year, these three funding areas are relevant because they address the primary ways that students connect to the school and allow them to maintain and grow those connections.

A specific grant that stood out to SSF club members as one of the most impactful was funding for a school garden for special needs students. The grant will immediately allow dozens of special needs students to benefit from the garden and will continue to serve students and the community for years to come.

The SSF club successfully fundraised this year by selling bracelets during lunch at school once students were back in the classroom and by holding a Spirit Night at a local Chipotle. The club volunteered by supporting the school’s food pantry, “Titan Market,” and  Fresh Markets event. Club members gave fresh produce to students, faculty, and staff, helped with sorting, bagging and distributing the food. They gained a better understanding of how the markets help the school, especially during a difficult time.

Becoming a member of SSF was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. Before I joined, I was completely ignorant of the struggles that many of the students in our school were facing in their lives. I learned that I can actually make a real difference in people’s lives even though I am just a high schooler. Being an officer has taught me personal responsibility and how to hold myself accountable. SSF is an amazing program and helps prepares all of its members for a long life of giving back to the community.

- Olympia SSF student

Plymouth State University

Plymouth, NH

President Erica B.
Founded 2004

This year, Plymouth State University’s SSF club met their community’s needs, and then some. The majority of their grantmaking, which totaled $9,961, went toward students who faced financial difficulties due to COVID-19.

Though there was a common cause for their financial strain, each story was unique. A few students lost parents to the pandemic, some lost jobs and homes, while others found themselves the primary caregiver of vulnerable family members. The SSF grants they received most frequently went toward purchasing textbooks, paying rent and utility bills and purchasing technology and equipment for remote learning.

In addition to supporting individual students, Plymouth SSF continued to provide vital support to the school’s food pantry. 

The Plymouth SSF Club successfully raised over $12,000 this school year! In November, they held the fourth annual Swipe It Forward Campaign. The campaign connects PSU students facing food insecurity to meals on campus via a “virtual meal bank.”  Students, faculty, and staff with meal plans had two weeks to donate two meals or cash – they reached over 1,000 meal swipes.

Until I joined SSF, I was unaware of, and surprised by, the food insecurity amongst college students on my own campus. As the Food Pantry Manager, I want to make students more aware of the resources on campus that are here to help them. I think many students believe they have to be starving or unemployed or at rock bottom to use resources like the food pantry. In reality it is there so that students don’t have to reach that point.

- Plymouth SSF Food Pantry Manager

Rollins College

Winter Park, FL

Co-President Lily C.
Co-President Eliane H.
Founded 2012

Rollins College SSF Club, like many schools, faced unique and difficult challenges during the 2020-2021 school year due to virtual and hybrid school schedules and increased stress on the student body. In spite of these challenges, and sometimes because of them, the SSF club stepped up to the plate to assist their fellow students. 

Their areas of funding included school-related supplies, gowns and graduation materials, honor society dues, conference costs, emergency travel, food and clothing; and Rollins Immersion experience deposits and leadership development opportunity costs. They also supported Rollins’ on-campus food pantry, which lifted all restrictions for this academic year to meet student needs.

The Rollins SSF Club saw an increased need among students for the basic necessities to survive – utility bills, food, fuel for commuting to campus, etc. Their grants throughout the year focused on supporting those students to ensure they could continue to focus on school work without worrying about these necessities.  

Being a member of SSF taught me compassion. I learned so much about how students in my community could overcome hardships and how a little bit of help could change someone’s semester. You can never know what someone is going through, and being able to help out was such a life-changing experience.

- Rollins SSF student

Stetson University

DeLand, FL

President Josh F.
Founded 2017

The Stetson University SSF club didn’t let the pandemic slow them down! They got creative by relying on virtual recruitment and club meetings and continuing to commit to volunteering and  fundraising. Like many clubs, they saw an increase in student food, medical and travel needs, which is where the bulk of their grants went. They also committed funds to assist international students who were stranded at the school due to pandemic restrictions. 

One particularly impactful grant went toward supporting a student who disclosed their sexual identity to their family and was subsequently cut off financially. SSF helped the student to not only pay for school but to buy food and toiletries. 

The SSF club once again volunteered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. They safely interacted with members of the DeLand community and helped them to file taxes to the IRS for free. The club also made time to meet with the school’s fundraising department, which helped SSF with training and tools to cultivate and solicit donors. They made introductions to Stetson donors, who have generously given to the club.

On many occasions I have seen friends and acquaintances struggling with financial hardships because of something going on in their lives. I share with each of these people the opportunity to apply for funding from SSF. I know that most people do not like asking others for financial help, but I know how much SSF has helped me and others. I want to ensure that people know they can come to us when they need help.

- Stetson SSF student

STRIVE Prep Schools

Denver, CO

President Jacqueline B.
Founded 2019

Now in their second year, STRIVE Prep’s SSF club continued to show ingenuity and compassion in their grantmaking and club activities. They granted $4,250 this year within their community, having raised an additional $250 through a fundraiser at a local Chipotle.

This year’s grants supported numerous students and causes. The club provided support to families experiencing financial hardship. They helped to fund events to celebrate the graduating senior class and faculty appreciation efforts at the end of a challenging year. They also supported several student organizations and initiatives, including funds for restorative justice training and sending four STRIVE Prep students to the RISE Speech & Debate Nationals competition. 

STRIVE Prep helped out their fellow SSF clubs by compiling and sharing a list of national restaurant chains that love to host fundraisers for groups like SSF. Find the list of ideas here.

What surprised me the most about my school’s community are the needs of students that I was unaware of. My eyes were opened to students in my school who needed help, and as a SSF community, we were able to give some aid to our students. Throughout the school year, we worked through our social worker to provide groceries or other supplies for those who needed it.

- STRIVE Prep SSF student

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

Co-President Colin A.
Co-President Danielle G.
Founded 2016

The University of Central Florida SSF Club was a consistent support for UCF students throughout the 2020-2021 school year. They received a $6,000 grant from the UCF SGA Scholarship Committee to supplement the $4,000 grant from MFF and ultimately provided a total of $8,600 in support to the UCF community. To supplement grantmaking, SSF club members volunteered with Second Harvest Food Bank where they packaged food for school lunches and had a great time.

To showcase the impact their grants had, read this excerpt from a letter of thanks written by a recipient of an SSF grant this year:

“As a Haitian, African American minority student who supports her family of four (mother and two brothers) living in one of the top dangerous neighborhoods in the Central Florida area since a freshman in high school, I cannot begin to thank you enough for helping to keep me on track for graduation when every obstacle has nearly prevented me from doing so. 

This grant was used to purchase a laptop as well as aid in paying for at-home Wi-Fi services to ensure the continuation of a safe and successful fall semester bringing me one step closer to graduation. I was able to utilize the free budgeting tool provided by SSF along with self-taught budgeting and saving habits to help properly break down how I could efficiently use the grant. 

This is the first time since Fall 2018 where I was able to take on a full-time course load.

It is my only hope to one day return and pay it forward knowing it was the generosity, contribution and thoughtfulness of others who paved the way for the future success and many accomplishments that lie ahead.”

SSF has helped me understand my community more and support my fellow students. It’s also helped me improve upon my critical thinking skills and allowed me to practice making tough decisions.

- UCF SSF student
We Missed You!
Honorable Mentions

With virtual learning, hybrid school schedules and communities hard hit by the pandemic, some of the schools in the Student Support Foundation family were unable to participate this school year.


We want to take this opportunity to give these schools a shoutout – we hope to see them in the new school year!

East High School

Madison, WI

James Madison Memorial High School

Madison, WI

La Follette High School

Madison, WI

Northglenn High School

Northglenn, CO