RCC student creates fund to help students pay for groceries, rent, technology, other fees

A student at Rockland Community College went above and beyond to help his fellow students struggling through the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

May 7, 2020, 9:49 PM

Updated 1,483 days ago

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A student at Rockland Community College went above and beyond to help his fellow students struggling through the pandemic.
Student Thomas Leonard took the term extracurricular to a whole new level by spearheading an emergency fund for his fellow students during the coronavirus outbreak to make sure they can continue their education.
"I wanted to make sure no one was unable to finish their education because of the crisis," he says. "Especially as we're heading into finals season, I don't want anyone to think about where they're going to sleep or how they're going to feed their family while they're studying."
He's raised $53,000 since the end of April, about half coming from the college's foundation. The rest of it is from the community.
The money will help students in good standing pay for things like groceries, rent, technology, other fees and living expenses.
It's already benefitted many students, including Rose Mainviel, an international student from Haiti on the pre-med track, who needed $300 to pay off a medical bill.
"To see Thomas, working with his fellow students, working outside of the campus walls to work with others who could be helpful for students to raise funds, is just amazing," said Dr. Michael Baston, president of RCC.
Leonard envisions the fund aiding students for years to come for any hardship they face, long after the virus.
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