High school and college students’ lives have changed in unpredictable ways this year. They’ve missed out on many of the traditions that mark the beginnings and ends of some of life’s most formative chapters and the social interactions that are crucial to adolescent development. They have also been forced to transition into makeshift online learning environments that, in many ways, collide with their home environments.
This season of giving serves as a reminder that a little help goes a long way. Often, the financial support from a scholarship or fellowship makes all the difference for a student pursuing their dreams of changing the world — dreams that have never been more important than they are today.
In that spirit, UC Merced is expanding its annual Giving Tuesday campaign — traditionally a 24-hour period of giving held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — to encompass the entire month of December. This year’s campaign begins Tuesday, Dec. 1, and runs through Dec. 31. Gifts can be made online at giveto.ucmerced.edu.
“If these times have taught us anything, it is that small acts of generosity and simply caring about one another are things we too often take for granted,” Vice Chancellor Ed Klotzbier said. “The gifts made to UC Merced this month will support students who are working tirelessly to create better futures for themselves, their families and their communities. And every donation sends a clear message: We are all in this together.”
Last year’s “Give Tue UC Merced” campaign benefited the Building the Future Scholarship Fund. Among the scholarship recipients was Jessica Mojica, a first-year biology major from Le Grand whose dream of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon stems from a near-fatal childhood bout with pneumonia.
“Receiving this scholarship makes it easier for me to get the education needed for my major and helps me get closer to my career,” Mojica said. “I hope that I can prove to the donors of this scholarship that they have contributed to many students in achieving their dreams and their goals.”
The gifts made to UC Merced this month will support students who are working tirelessly to create better futures for themselves, their families and their communities. And every donation sends a clear message: We are all in this together.
The goal for this year’s campaign is to raise $50,000 from 250 donors by Dec. 31. Donors can contribute to more than 40 different funds, grouped into nine categories:
- UC Merced Annual Fund
- Chancellor’s Associates
- Academics and Research
- Student Success
- UC Merced Foundation Trustees’ Impact Fund
- UC Merced Arts
Since its inception in 2014, the annual Giving Tuesday campaign has raised over $1.7 million through more than 5,400 individual gifts, ranging from $1 to thousands.
“Gifts of any size are important, and this year you can be even more intentional with where your donations go,” said Amber Flores, executive director of annual and special giving. “Giving to UC Merced means deserving students gain access to scholarships and fellowships, faculty members receive resources they need to conduct critical research, the university can drive enriching programs and services, and a wealth of campus initiatives are available to ensure student success.”
Samantha Hernandez, a first-year chemistry major from Fresno, was another recipient of the Building the Future Scholarship funded by donations from last year’s campaign. She hopes her time at UC Merced prepares her to become not only a successful student, but a successful professional and scientist.
“With the scholarship help, I am able to continue forward with my college plans,” Hernandez said. “I am able to look forward to stepping onto UC Merced’s campus. I am able to form new friendships, work with professors and use the greatest research labs in California. I am able to be part of Merced’s community. I am able to tell my parents that their daughter is a college freshman at UC Merced.”