Eagles Care Funds Give a Hand-Up

Students receive assistance with unexpected expenses during crisis

Michael Henriquez had four classes left to complete his aviation maintenance science degree when the coronavirus pandemic threatened to upend his plans.

“I had planned on attending summer classes, while working full time to pay for tuition,” he says. “My family was also going to assist me with whatever I couldn’t cover in tuition payments.”

In mid-March, everything fell apart.

When the majority of local retail and dining establishments closed their doors, in observance of state and national COVID-19 recommendations, the senior found himself struggling to find a job.

At the same time, his family took a financial hit when their restaurant was also forced to close.

But thanks to the university’s Eagles Care Student Emergency Assistance Funds, some of Henriquez’s financial stress was alleviated, and he was able to continue his studies.

Eagles Care Funds were established at each Embry-Riddle campus to help students offset unexpected expenses or help pay for tuition or other educational costs during times of crisis.

In light of the pandemic and the critical need it created for students, by mid-October, 400 Embry-Riddle faculty, staff and friends had collectively contributed over $180,000 to meet the current and future needs of Embry-Riddle students in crisis.

Nearly 400 students applied for support from the Eagles Care Funds.

More than 400 donors gave more than $180,000 in support of 220 students... and counting

Dreams Interrupted

Like Henriquez, Khairul Afiq Zolkafli had nearly completed his degree and training, when the coronavirus hit.

“I used to work on campus at four different jobs to cover my expenses,” says Zolkafli, who came to the U.S. to study through a Malaysian government program. “With the pandemic, I lost my income.”

The Eagles Care funding he received came at a critical moment.

“I couldn’t be more grateful,” Zolkafli says. “Life is not easy, but it doesn’t mean we give up.”

Read more at givingto.erau.edu/eaglescare.