How we did




"To directly help my fellow students"

"To develop my leadership skills"

"To give back to other students in need just as I have been helped"

"To get to know more people and to help out the community"

"To become a more empathetic and understanding person"

"To change someone's life"

Bridgewater College

Bridgewater, VA

President Jalissa W.
Founded 2015

The Bridgewater College SSF Chapter focuses on three main areas: academic needs, nonacademic needs and general expenses and service projects. These focus areas cover the vast majority of funding requests they receive.

In the past, the Bridgewater chapter has offered a myriad of on‐campus fundraisers to spread the word about SSF to Bridgewater College faculty and staff. In spring 2022, members tried a new fundraiser called “Build Your Own Variety Snack Pack.” It was marketed toward both students and staff, who had the opportunity to create their own goody bags from a wide selection of sweet and savory treats. The SSF chapter interacted directly with the student body to raise funds and spread awareness of SSF and its mission.

The chapter met with the college president, Dr. David Bushman, who graciously gave a $1,000 donation in addition to the $4,000 in funding provided by Bridgewater College. The members were nervous to present to Bushman but ultimately found it to be a rewarding experience and fantastic learning opportunity.

Looking back on where we were as a board in August, and where we are now, is truly amazing! While Keon Nesmith, the chapter sponsor, provided a little more guidance at the beginning of the academic year, as time progressed, we truly became a chapter that was 100% run by students. This is something that we take great pride in.

- Bridgewater SSF student

Dubuque Senior High

Dubuque, IA

President Lauren D.
Founded 2019

Dubuque Senior High School is a sister school of Hempstead High School with an SSF chapter in its third year. Chapter members made big changes in the 2021–2022 school year.

Their Instagram account, @senior.rams.give, surpassed 100 followers, helping the chapter get the word out about fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, non-confidential grants and more. The chapter’s Facebook account also shares when the chapter is looking for donations. Members are consistently amazed at how many parents and community members respond to requests and want to help. As one student said, “My favorite memory from SSF was being able to see the impacts of providing period supplies in the bathrooms. It was really meaningful to see how something so simple could make such a big difference.”

The chapter kept busy offline too. SSF members remodeled the school’s Giving Room, where students can find food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies and clothing free of charge. The remodel made the space feel more homey and less like a storage space.

Students shared several meaningful moments from their grant-making activities. They funded woodworking projects for the school’s Alternative Learning Center, which provides credit recovery and a different learning environment to students from across the district. The SSF members felt good about showing the students at the center that although they are located off campus, they are still valued members of the Rams community.

The SSF chapter also gave funding to a paraprofessional at Dubuque Senior, whose child was struggling with health issues. The grant helped cover essential bills and reduce some of the stress of caring for a sick child.

SSF taught me that philanthropy is multifaceted. Prior to SSF I had the preconceived notion that only the elite could be philanthropists and that the acts of philanthropists had to be of great unfathomable proportions. However, SSF demonstrated to me not only that anyone can be a philanthropist but that everyone should. By providing our unique perspectives and gifts, we all have the ability to make a positive impact in the lives of others and society as a whole.

- Dubuque Senior SSF student

Dunnellon High School

Dunnellon, FL

Co-President Sydney W.
Co-President Jillian R.
Founded 2015

The Dunnellon SSF chapter experienced new highs and new lows in 2021-2022. Members continued to focus their grant making on students, faculty and staff, and the community at large.

The school and community felt the long-lasting impact of COVID-19, so the SSF chapter stepped up to help teachers purchase materials, and members dedicated their volunteer work to rebuilding and restocking the school food pantry. The chapter instituted a program with school guidance counselors to prepare backpacks full of food for students and families in need.

For the third year in a row, the chapter held Wednesday Donut Days as their main fundraising activity, raising more than $2,000. As one student remembered, “Every Wednesday, we stand in the main commons making teachers, staff, students and friends smile while handing out donuts—from the best bakery I have ever been to—with the best, most positive donut crew.”

After a Dunnellon High School senior tragically died in a car accident, Wednesday Donut Days became even more meaningful. Chapter members donated all proceeds from their Donut Day fundraiser to the family of the student who passed. In just one hour, SSF raised more than $600 for the family.

SSF taught me that philanthropy must come with action; to say one is philanthropic in their mindset but not in their actions is to contradict oneself. One must be philanthropic at heart and in one’s actions.

- Dunnellon SSF student

East High School

Madison, WI

President Jasmine S.
Founded 2012

After taking a hiatus in 2020–2021 due to pandemic restrictions, East High School in Madison, Wisconsin, returned in 2021–2022 with renewed determination. SSF chapter members described their school as both economically and racially diverse and lacking the resources of other schools in the district. The chapter’s focus areas of fostering diversity, equalizing opportunity and fostering collaboration and community reflect that.

The chapter proactively reached out to the advisors of other school chapters and staff members to spread the word about the grant opportunities. One memorable grant that it provided went to the Food Equity Club, which used the funds to purchase food and snacks for students in need, and to help stock two food pantries at the school.

Despite the barriers the chapter faced, it was able to recruit members and make itself known as a resource for the school community. Members look forward to building on their momentum next year.

SSF has taught me that donating to a good cause is an experience that will stay with you forever.

- East High SSF student

Hempstead High School

Dubuque, IA

President Madison L.
Founded 2019

The Hempstead High School SSF Chapter, along with its sister school Dubuque Senior High School, approached its third year with enthusiasm. The chapter hosted a concession stand at a local basketball game to raise funds and awareness. Members reached their fundraising goal within three hours and made connections within their community.

Their service project focused on giving clothing and hygiene supplies to fellow Hempstead students. The SSF chapter met with counselors to put together outfits based on questionnaires and to collect supplies like deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo to provide to students in need. The student recipients remained anonymous, but counselors reported that the care packages were greatly appreciated.

Students shared two grant stories as particularly memorable and meaningful. One grant provided funds to Hempstead’s Ambassadors Singers group for new gender‐neutral uniforms to create a more inclusive and equal environment. The other grant went to the school’s library. With funds from SSF, the library made stress‐reducing grab-and-go craft bags. The activity bags have been hugely popular with Hempstead students.

I learned that it’s important to disperse money to areas that will provide the most benefit, success and positive impact.

- Hempstead SSF student

La Follette High School

Madison, WI

President Cassidy L.
Founded 2008

Due to pandemic restrictions, the La Follette High School SSF Chapter took a year and a half off from operations. It returned in full force in 2021-2022, though members faced challenges in restarting the chapter from scratch after former members graduated. The chapter continues to fund three focus areas: to support the La Follette community, student learning and equity.

One of its larger and most memorable grants helped to fund a celebration of Las Posadas, a Latin American Christmas celebration. The funds went toward food, decorations and activities for students in the ESL and DLI programs, who got to share and experience culture and food from different Latin American countries with the rest of the school community.

In a year full of uncertainty, the SSF chapter dedicated its volunteer activity to spreading joy in the community. It partnered with local coffee shops to decorate unique and personalized coffee cup sleeves for customers. One member recounted seeing customers’ faces light up as they saw their coffee sleeve and described the project as “simple, but really impactful.”

We want to make sure we are providing students what they need to be successful. We want our community to thrive and be a space where all students feel like they belong and are part of our community.

- La Follette SSF chapter

Lake Buena Vista High School

Orlando, FL

President Samantha L.
New Club! Founded 2021

This was Lake Buena Vista High School’s first year with an SSF chapter and its 10 inaugural members got off to an outstanding start. Typically, new SSF chapters receive only half the usual funding from MFF in their first year as they’re getting set up.

However, the Lake Buena Vista chapter was so successful at spreading awareness of the grants available, that it was granted full funding on par with an older and more established chapter. The chapter expects to make an even greater impact next year when it launches new fundraising and volunteer initiatives.

Grants spanned a wide variety of causes and recipients. The chapter’s funding areas are clubs, sports and other activities; teacher supplies; and student needs. Members funded nine different student organizations and helped four individual students purchase technology needed for their studies.

They recounted an especially meaningful grant, which helped a special needs student purchase a laptop, which she could not afford on her own but is an immense help in her studies. To show her thanks, the student sent the chapter photos of her using her new computer.

We really appreciate being involved in a meaningful organization like this. We hope to help more people in the future.

- Lake Buena Vista SSF chapter

Madison West High School

Madison, WI

Co-President Alan
Co-President Tamea J.
Founded 2007

Madison West High School’s SSF Chapter funds three key areas: education, equity and environment. One student described the impact of their work: “Gaining the skills to manage a large amount of money in the form of grants taught me to better understand how financial management works. Discussing with other members and coming up with conclusion was helpful to learn cooperation.”

Members primarily focused on education and equity grants in 2021-2022. Like many SSF communities, the chapter is still feeling the ramifications of the pandemic. One grant in particular—to the school’s food pantry—stood out to the Madison West students. As part of the grant-making process, the chapter visited the pantry as a group to experience its impact firsthand.

In addition to grant making, the Madison West SSF Chapter held two fundraisers in the 2021-2022 school year: a raffle of a pair of Nike Air Force One sneakers and a rose sale for prom. Though the chapter didn’t quite meet its fundraising goal, the events were great learning experiences and helped bring the chapter and the community together after years of virtual learning.

The final highlight of the year was winning the all-SSF TikTok challenge! The members’ creative video answering the question, “What is SSF?”, won the chapter $500 in additional funding, gift cards for members and SSF swag.

My favorite memory from SSF is volunteering with my chapter at my old elementary school. It felt like a moment of growth for me, and I really value the opportunity that SSF gave me.

- Madison West SSF student

Mesa Community College

Mesa, Arizona

President Samantha L.
Founded 2020

The Mesa SSF Chapter’s three areas of funding include promoting diversity, equity and inclusion on campus; student emergency financial assistance; and student out‐of‐pocket expenses such as books and school supplies.

Given the lasting impact of the pandemic, nearly all of its funding in 2021-2022 went toward emergency financial assistance for students in need. The chapter assisted students in covering food, transportation, utilities and other basic life necessities to continue their education.

In the fall, the Mesa SSF Chapter expanded its volunteer efforts. Members got together to write words of encouragement and inspiring quotes to be included in Thanksgiving boxes that the school’s food pantry, Mesa Market, handed out to students. The chapter members volunteered in the Office of Development making calls and writing thank-you cards for donors to Mesa Community College.

Along with volunteering and grant making, the chapter exceeded its fundraising goal for the year. Between its initial funding and fundraising efforts, Mesa SSF helped 12 students in need and donated a balance of $925.75 to the Mesa Market to increase the capacity of the on-campus food pantry.

I learned more about philanthropic endeavors and that little things can make a big difference in someone’s life.

- Mesa SSF student

Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar

Calmar, IA

President Sierra G.
Founded 2020

Now in its second year, the Calmar SSF Chapter at Northeast Iowa Community College made progress in recruiting, connecting with each other and supporting students and the community. The chapter largely made grants to assist students with childcare, gas, bill assistance, and grocery and transportation costs, as well as purchasing textbooks and laptops or hotspots for internet access.

On a smaller scale, it provided funds for student professional development, from purchasing scrubs and interview clothing to providing membership fees and dues to professional clubs. The chapter received a $1,000 grant from the school president, Dr. Liang Chee Wee, who was very supportive of the chapter’s goals.

In a particularly memorable grant, the Calmar SSF Chapter awarded a $500 grant to a student who enrolled in the college after leaving an abusive partner. She is studying to be a nurse and applied for the grant to cover groceries for herself and her four-year-old daughter, while she cut back her work hours to attend clinical rotations.

Her story was powerful for members of the chapter, who realized the student’s situation is more common than they think and were excited to approve the grant. The student emailed the chapter to thank the members and tell them how grateful she was for the opportunity. At the time of writing, she was on track to graduate on time.

We get so many thank-you notes from students for the support we give them. It has really made us realize that sometimes a person just needs a little help and that we can be the ones to give them that. Most of our members are people who have been helped by this chapter.

- Calmar NE SSF student

Northeast Iowa Community College - Dubuque/Peosta

Peosta, IA

President Jennifer C.
Founded 2020

Along with their sister chapter at the Calmar campus, the Dubuque/Peosta SSF Chapter at Northeast Iowa Community College had a landmark second year. In a similar story to SSF chapters around the country, the Dubuque/Peosta chapter saw increased need among their fellow students resulting from the pandemic.

The vast majority of grants went toward helping students afford necessities like groceries, medical bills, childcare and gas. Remaining grants covered textbooks and supplies and technology needs for virtual classes.

The SSF chapter made connections across campus and the community through its fundraising and volunteer efforts. Members co-hosted a student crisis fundraiser in October, including a silent auction, cook-off, crafts, entertainment and speakers. The chapter volunteered at the school’s Donor Celebration event, which invites donors to listen to a student or alumni speaker and network with students, alumni and other donors.

Like the Calmar chapter, the Dubuque/Peosta SSF Chapter secured an additional $1,000 in funding from the school president, Dr. Liang Chee Wee, who is very supportive of SSF.

My family and I were struggling to make our day-to-day living expenses due to an accident that disabled my husband. As a stay-at-home mother, I couldn’t replace his income due to lack of work experience and education. I chose to go back to school in order to provide for my family and help us be once again stable. After going back to school, my husband’s health concerns took a turn and he ended up hospitalized; my refrigerator broke the same day, which caused us to lose all of our food; then my water heater broke three days later.


I was the next thing on the list to break.


I couldn’t imagine how I could continue school or even afford the gas to get there. I had an amazing staff member reach out and connect me to resources to keep me reaching for my goals while stabilizing our situation. The next month, SSF was beginning at our campus and I knew I needed to be part of it. I wanted to support and actively make a difference to help others succeed. This opportunity allowed me to express my philanthropic mindset and pay it forward.

- Dubuque/Peosta SSF student

Northglenn High School

Northglenn, CO

Founded 2012

After taking a year off from chapter activities due to school COVID-19 restrictions, the Northglenn SSF Chapter was back in action in 2021-2022. It continued to focus on three main giving areas: family and community engagement, environment and education.

The Northglenn community, as with the other SSF communities, was severely impacted by the pandemic. In response, the chapter honed in on how it could help students participate in school life again. Several of its most significant grants went toward helping students participate in extracurriculars and clubs, especially to enable in-person meetings again.

Grants provided funding for initiatives like providing food and drinks at club meetings, funding a display case to showcase student work, and covering the costs of registration and hotel stays for national club conferences.


Olympia High School

Orlando, FL

President Devin C.
Founding Club, Founded 2003

The Olympia High School SSF Chapter has always been deeply connected to its school community. It is reflected in the chapter’s three focus areas of arts, athletics and academics, which were inspired by the school’s crest. Though members faced challenges related to COVID-19, they found ways to continue to support their peers and community.

The chapter focused on larger grants to clubs and sports teams to impact as many students as possible with each grant while helping clubs to stay afloat. The chapter was flexible with grant limits and considered each request carefully while working together.

The chapter didn’t stop making individual grants entirely. Members cited a particularly memorable grant in which they provided funds to a homeless student to cover the costs of their graduation gown. The student was able to walk across the stage with their peers, despite their personal circumstances. The chapter successfully fundraised as well, raising $250 by selling candy grams and hosting a spirit night at a local Chipotle.

SSF taught me about how grants work and how fundraising can work. Before this year, I had never known what grants were, but I know now how grants work and how money from those grants directly impacts students at our school.

- Olympia SSF student

Plymouth State University

Plymouth, NH

President Alyssa G.
Founded 2004

The Plymouth State University SSF Chapter has a long history of successful and innovative fundraising efforts to address food insecurity on campus. The 2021–2022 school year was no different. They fundraised through three main projects: Swipe it Forward, Donations for Citations, and a partnership with Hannaford’s Supermarket.

Swipe it Forward allows students with meal plans to donate up to two meal swipes to students without a meal plan or who are low on funds. They collected 885 meal swipes with an in‐kind value of $8,850. Donations for Citations is a program in which students can make a $50 donation to the food pantry in exchange for waiving their $75 on-campus parking ticket. Lastly, Hannaford’s Supermarket featured SSF as their charity of the month, helping to raise over $600 for the school food pantry.

In addition to their work addressing food insecurity, Plymouth SSF Chapter members fulfilled requests for textbook assistance and emergency funds, and got its first grant referral from an off-campus organization. The referral came from the Lakes Region Mental Health Center, which recommended a graduate student on campus who needed help with outstanding bills and chronic health challenges. SSF granted the request and members were excited to see their reach expanding into the town of Plymouth.

SSF taught me that the world of philanthropy isn’t just throwing money at problems and hoping for solutions. It’s making carefully crafted choices about how you spend your money and thinking about how those choices will positively impact the most people.

- Plymouth SSF student

Rollins College

Winter Park, FL

Co-President Claire G.
Co-President Emily C.
Founded 2012

As one Rollins College SSF Chapter member described, “This year was truly unlike any other.” The chapter saw a significant increase in health- and pandemic-related requests. The grant requesters often shared emotional stories of job loss and impossible situations.

For the first time in the Rollins chapter’s history, members went beyond their weekly application system to fulfill grants more quickly. Over the holidays in particular, the chapter went into overdrive to meet their community’s needs—they even ordered an entire Thanksgiving meal to be delivered to a student and their family.

In response to the overwhelming need, members of the chapter supported each other’s mental health and implemented innovative ideas. The chapter applied for and won grants from both Sodexo and CVS to help stock the campus food pantry, which saw a 300% increase in mobile orders in 2021-2022 for food and feminine hygiene products.

To meet their fundraising goal for the year, the chapter designed tote bags alongside Rollins’ Urban Farm, another student organization on campus. The Urban Farm had revitalized its efforts to grow vegetables and herbs to help stock the food pantry. Together, the two student groups raised over $250 from bags sales.

The chapter developed a deeper relationship with the Office of Student & Family Care to help SSF grant recipients access counseling, family support and more. Chapter members started conversations with advisors and peer educators to elevate mental health and wellness for peers and caregivers on campus.

I have found my people in SSF. They care so deeply about the mission of this work. It’s not easy to read about the difficulties and challenges that our peers are going through, but together we have experienced how we can support each other and our campus community. We have learned how to take care of caregivers, elevate the importance of mental health and really make sure that all are involved with difficult submissions. We have bonded this year unlike any other to advocate for the issues that need to be voiced.

- Rollins SSF student

Stetson University

DeLand, FL

President Joshua F.
Founded 2017

The Stetson University SSF Chapter focuses on funding housing and travel, senior research and health and wellness. Members found that these areas needed more attention than ever during this post-pandemic school year. Senior research is a requirement for most majors at Stetson and involves extensive original research, which could include fieldwork, outside data sets, experimentation and materials for creative projects.

Housing instability is an often hidden problem within the student population, though there are students who have experienced homelessness or live in substandard or dangerous situations. In the wake of the pandemic, health was of particular concern for many on campus.

Stetson SSF helped students in all of its focus areas, including a particularly troubling grant request from a fellow student who was temporarily living in a tent near campus. The SSF chapter made new connections on campus and plans to make an even greater impact next year.

I joined SSF to make a difference my freshman year. Making an impact on the local Stetson community is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I will always seek to engage in philanthropic acts in my community and to make the world a better place.

- Stetson SSF student

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

President Isabeau T.
Founded 2016

Despite challenges with recruitment and meeting attendance—due to the fact that Covid forced many students to continue studying online—the University of Central Florida SSF Chapter had an impressively successful year.

One student described the funding they provided as demonstrating “the difficulties that college students are currently experiencing. Many have to live off limited funds, especially when it comes to food and housing insecurity. However, students currently experiencing those circumstances are able to receive rapid funding from [SSF], alleviating those burdens.”

Along with grant activities, the UCF chapter held volunteer and fundraising events. The chapter helped with a pond cleanup at the campus’ Lake Claire to preserve and maintain the lake’s wildlife. To raise funds, the chapter presented to the college’s Student Government and was rewarded with $6,000, allowing SSF to provide an additional 30 grants to students.

A memorable moment for me was the experience of going over applications and realizing just how many students have struggles while being a student and growing as a young adult.

- UCF SSF student