Focus on the Foundation: Life Happens

Alesha Handa

Focus on the Foundation: Life Happens

Fall 2017

| By: Britten, Casey

The Seeds of Hope fund celebrates 10 years of helping students deal with life’s unexpected moments.

Founded 10 years ago by Fox Valley Technical College employees and managed by the FVTC Foundation, the Seeds of Hope (SOH) fund helps students cover expenses resulting from personal emergency situations.

“Many students would have fallen behind or been unable to stay in school without this fund,” says Julie Coenen, scholarship manager for the FVTC Foundation. “A Seeds of Hope grant can cover things like medical or family expenses, transportation to attend classes or an unexpected childcare issue.”

Students who receive these funds are not required to pay them back. “We ask recipients to ‘pay it forward’ by volunteering at Seeds of Hope events such as the popular One Stop Shop Holiday Craft Fair,” adds Coenen.

Alesha Handa, a 29-year-old Accounting student, was a recent recipient of a SOH grant to fix a flat tire on the vehicle she uses to get to FVTC. Handa and her husband came to Appleton from Delhi, India. “I could not afford to buy a new tire,” Handa recalls. “The grant helped me return to class while motivating me to work hard and not give up.”

In addition to taking accounting classes at FVTC, Handa volunteers as a peer tutor helping students learn basic accounting. “I cannot say enough about how wonderful Fox Valley Tech has been to me,” she says. “I want to give back to the school by helping others succeed.”

Quick Facts:

  • Seeds of Hope has helped  926 students since it was founded in 2007.
  • In 2016-2017, Seeds of Hope awarded 184 grants totaling nearly $80,000.