Historic Black Church Blesses Howard University Students With $100,000 To Pay Off Loans
The funds will 34 lucky students.
February 14, 2019 at 6:56 am
The historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, gifted Howard University students $100,000 to help pay off student debt.
According to The Washington Post, 34 lucky students will get assistance paying off student fees because of the generous donation.
Alfred Street parishioners came together to raise the funds during a month-long fast. Members reportedly gave up sweets, drinking alcohol and other actions deemed negative to help better their lives.
Assistant minister Marc Lavarin told NPR that churchgoers were asked to take part in a financial fast to cut careless and frivolous spending. The money they donated went to a fund totaling $150,000 as part of the church's initiative to give back to the community, reports The Hill.
"And we had an overwhelming response from our congregation," Lavarin said.
Thank you @AlfredStreetBC for paying the balances that stood between 34 graduating seniors and their graduation in a few short months.
We appreciate your investment into our students and the priority placed into supporting the HBCU community. pic.twitter.com/UgoCGx9PEP
— Howard University (@HowardU) February 4, 2019
Some seniors were informed about the grant through the university's financial aid office. Young mother and Howard student Mya Thompson told NPR she had trouble paying off $2,500 in fees when she learned about the opportunity via email.
"I get grants, I get loans. I get a need-based scholarship from Howard … But my financial aid usually doesn't cover everything," the 25-year-old said. "I just had to figure out how I was going to handle my everyday bills and set aside $2,500."
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Thompson received the money she needed thanks to Alfred Street Baptist. Others will be able to pay off debts ranging from $100 to more than $3,000.
The church has deep ties to historically Black colleges. Founded in 1803, it is estimated 60 percent of its members are graduates of an HBCU.
But the goodwill does not stop there. The church will also donate $50,000 to Bennett College, the historically Black North Carolina women's college needed to raise several million to keep its accreditation. Over the last two weeks, the school met its goal of $5 million—raising about $8 million— thanks to the donations and efforts of many.
"We believe that it's the role of the church, especially those historically black congregations, to continue to support our historically black colleges and universities — especially considering we have played such a role in their conception and founding," Lavarin told NPR.
In wake of financial struggles plaguing the prestigous Black university, the donations prove there will always be love for the Mecca.
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