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First things first: I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well during this very different looking holiday season.
It’s been a tough year, but I’d like to tell you a story that speaks of an issue that is probably as old as time itself – one that I hope will inspire you to keep persevering and one that has a happy outcome thanks to the generosity of people like you.
THANK YOU for your generous gifts. As a supporter of DCC, your loyalty and dedication to our students makes a huge difference in their lives – as you’ll surely see in this story.
“Sara” (not her real name) has been at Dutchess Community College for the past five years, pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse. Her two young children help her by encouraging her that she can do it. She has worked as an emergency room tech for nine years, and says, “I could not be prouder to be part of such an incredible team, especially while we’re fighting a pandemic together.”
Unfortunately, Sara’s world turned upside down over the course of the past few semesters. Sara recalls, “I was exposed to COVID and needed to be furloughed for two weeks. I developed symptoms of the deadly virus. And I was stuck at home with this man whose abuse became physical. Among other things, he cut my clothes, work scrubs and clinical uniforms, and destroyed my nursing books. I finally built up the courage to go to the police. I obtained a restraining order and he was removed from my home.”
A week later, Sara’s ex-boyfriend kicked in her front door and stole her laptop. She reached out to her professor and explained that she had no way to do her online coursework or take tests. That’s when this caring teacher helped this resilient student get in touch with DCC CARES (a Dutchess Community College program that helps students in danger of dropping out because of an unexpected financial emergency). DCC CARES lent Sara a laptop to finish the semester.
But now, she felt unsafe in her apartment and moved to her mother’s home. Despite arrests and jail time, her abuser relentlessly harassed her and her family, and damaged her car and other property.
Sara remained undaunted. “No matter what was happening to me, I continued school and passed the spring and summer semesters,” Sara says. “Although this has been the most difficult time of my life, I am thankful that I built up the courage to leave an abusive relationship. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I am grateful that my mom has been able to take my children and me in. And I am indebted to my professor and the DCC CARES Student Emergency Fund for helping me to persist.”
Sara's story is one example of how important your support is! Without your generosity, we wouldn’t have the kind of professors who are not only experts in their field, but who care. And we certainly wouldn’t have the DCC CARES program – which granted Sara resources to contribute to the family’s utility and food bills – or our Academic Need Fund, which provided additional help. We also helped her obtain secure daycare.
Sara’s story exemplifies the challenges DCC students can face, and the aid our intervention programs provide to help them persevere through traumatic events. You’ve already shown you believe in our mission. Thank you again for your leadership and guidance. We couldn’t have done this without you! Please continue to support that belief by sending a generous gift that will help our students persevere today and tomorrow.

With gratitude and wishes for your wellness this holiday season,

Pollard signature yellow 1

Diana L. Pollard '97
Executive Director
Dutchess Community College Foundation

PS: It’s clear how important your gift is to all of our students, including Sara. While you are reading this letter, please continue to help us empower students to study at DCC with a gift today. Thanks again for your support of and belief in the work you help us accomplish. If you have any questions, please contact me at pollard@sunydutchess.edu or (845) 431-8403.
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