Funds available for flooded students

PUHI — Kauai Community College students affected by the April 15 floods are eligible for financial relief. Kauai Community Foundation is collaborating with the college to provide funds to assist students impacted by the recent natural disaster.

“We are especially looking to help students who have had their education interrupted, but we also want to help anyone who was impacted in terms of housing, transportation, work and/or childcare,” said William Dressler, KCC student success coordinator.

The school is trying to raise awareness of the financial assistance program by emailing KCC students and asking all faculty members to refer students who are impacted in any way.

“We do have some students who lived in the areas and have had their homes damaged or their cars damaged,” Dressler said. “There’s other students who, maybe their homes weren’t damaged, but they worked up in the Hanalei area and haven’t been able to get to work.”

The plan is to provide students with funds for this coming fall semester, since many have been affected financially and may have difficulty paying tuition. No funds have yet been dispersed, while the school is in the process of collecting the database of impacted students.

“I’ve been reaching out to them trying to figure out what their situation is, so we can identify the students’ needs,” Dressler said.

About six or seven students have responded, he said.

The one-time financial support would allow those students to use the funds as appropriate for the academic year.

“I know of at least one student who lost his home — it’s still intact but had a lot of damage — and lost his car,” Dressler said. “So this kind of put him in a tough place.”

The college will decide how to disperse the funds over the summer, so students should receive money in time for the fall semester. Students can fill out the form online at kauai.hawaii.edu/floodassistance or apply at the Puhi campus or community meetings.

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John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or jsteinhorst@thegardenisland.com.

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