FLAGSTAFF - At Flagstaff's CollegeAmerica campus, student persistence goes beyond academics to include emotionally and financially supporting the community's students through personal hardships.
The latest benefactor of this culture of caring is a young medical specialties student who needed baby supplies for her newborn.
Just after having the baby, a fellow classmate discovered the only supplies the new mother had were a crib, a handful of diapers, and the receiving blanket from the hospital. The classmate went to campus the next day and rallied CollegeAmerica students and staff to action.
The new mother was involved in an abusive relationship so her identity and the identity of her classmate are being protected for their own safety.
"There's a perception that because we are a college serving mostly working professionals that there is no campus community, but there is a strong culture of support here," says Suzanne Scales, CollegeAmerica Flagstaff Campus Executive Director.
"When I heard this student needed help, I never thought twice about it. I would do the same for any student that came into my office."
Within a few days the school's front office was full of supplies for the new mother, including clothing, diapers, baby wipes, and a stroller. One student pitched in by donating a stack of handmade blankets for the infant, and another contacted churches to look for larger items like a baby swing.
Many of the supplies were donated by caring staff and students, but a few larger items were purchased by tapping into the school's Dean Trimble Fund. The fund, named after former Dean Jo Trimble, provides financial assistance on an informal basis to students in need. Trimble was the head of Sawyer College, formerly affiliated with CollegeAmerica, in the early '90s and was known for giving money from her own pocket to students in need to pay for medicine, diapers, baby food, or even a bus pass. The spirit of her generosity lives on at each CollegeAmerica campus and its affiliates, Stevens-Henager College and California College San Diego (CCSD), through the established fund.
"Dean Trimble's commitment to student success is a value that penetrates our campus to the very top. My senior level staff and I take a personal interest in seeing students complete their academic programs," explained Scales. "Many of our students are here to turn their lives around so we try to do everything in our power to keep them in school and on track to graduation."
Currently, the CollegeAmerica campus at Flagstaff has 290 students enrolled in classes. The campus offers degree programs in health care, computer programs and business.
For more information, visit www.collegeamerica.edu.