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Kirkwood Community College helping students affected by coronavirus

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 5:48 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The coronavirus pandemic is causing another hurdle for people already struggling to pay for college. Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids is starting the Kirkwood Kickstart program.

New students at Kirkwood can get up to $2,000 in grant money. It’s CARES Act funds, federal money intended to address economic fallout from the pandemic, given through the college.

It can go to things like books, rent, food, gas, health care, bills or whatever a student needs. To qualify, a student must be eligible for financial aid, and must explain how COVID-19 has personally affected their life. Leaders said it’s important for students to continue their education with fewer hurdles.

“For over 50 years, you know, we’ve been here in Eastern Iowa to help them get to the next step in their careers,” said Justin Hoehn, Associate Director of Marketing. “This is what we do, if we can’t help them do that, if they can’t get there because of something like this then of course it’s very heartbreaking.”

The Kickstart Program is also offering free classes to help people who may have lost their job and need help learning new skills. The online classes include computer basics, effective communication and more.

“To provide more support to individuals that may be in a position of a job where they want more skill,” said Kim Becicka, the Vice President of the Continuing Education and Training Services at Kirkwood. “Or be in the position where they don’t have a job and it’s time for them to look for a different career.”

Kirkwood is taking applications now. Funds for the Kickstart program are limited, so they want people to apply right away. People wanting to learn more can visit: http://www.kirkwood.edu/kickstart

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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