Statement Regarding Unprecedented Hurricane Season

September 19, 2017

A number of community colleges thus far have sustained substantial damages in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Our nation’s community colleges have weathered these storms with admirable resilience, serving as resources for their communities even after enduring great hardships. With a historic third category-five hurricane moving through the Caribbean, ACCT is concerned for those in Maria's path.

According to reports, Maria is inflicting heavy damage in the Caribbean as it continues to move toward the northwest. However, we want to answer inquiries from members about how to help students affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Florida and Texas colleges have created funds with the specific aim of helping students who have been devastated by these recent storms. 

The Association of Florida Colleges Foundation has established a fund to provide relief to families of those affected by Hurricane Irma. According to AFC CEO and Executive Director Mike Brawer, the fund’s goal will be “to provide cash assistance up to $500 for families of our members who have been displaced or otherwise suffered losses. The AFC Foundation will be seeding the fund with $10,000 and the AFC will match that with another $10,000 to start. We will be seeking additional donations via the AFC Foundation.” If you’re interested in supporting the fund, please see the AFC Family Hurricane Relief Fund web page.  

Texas and national leaders from higher education associations, foundations, businesses and other organizations also joined forces to create a Harvey HELP Fund to aid the half-million students in Texas who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. According to the Texas Association of Community Colleges, “HELP, which stands for Higher Education Learning Pathways, will provide emergency funds to enable students in southeast Texas to stay on or more quickly return to their educational pathways” in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Donations to the Harvey HELP Fund can be made through the effort’s GoFundMe page.  

The Association of Community College Trustees applauds the responses of our member colleges throughout affected areas, and we stand by ready to help in any way we can. 

J. Noah Brown

ACCT President & CEO