Above: San Francisco State alumna Juthaporn Chaloeicheep
San Francisco State builds on a successful fundraising campaign for student emergency relief
By Kent Bravo
Juthaporn Chaloeicheep’s path to a degree has never been smooth. She first attended San Francisco State University in the 1990s but when she gave birth to her first child, she had to leave school before achieving her degree. Years of addiction, homelessness, and incarceration followed. She was able to get back on track in the last few years, however, and a San Francisco State degree was finally within reach.
Then the pandemic hit, just weeks before she was due to graduate. Juthaporn’s work hours at a hospitality staffing agency were drastically cut back, making it difficult for her to pay rent, buy food and take care of her youngest son. “I was going to be at risk of not being able to graduate,” said Juthaporn.
Fortunately, she was able to get help from SF State’s HOPE Crisis Fund (Help, Opportunity, and Pathway to Empowerment). The program provides financial assistance to students dealing with unexpected crises, enabling them to continue their studies and graduate. “It takes a village to have helped me, and that’s what SF State was able to provide,” said Juthaporn. With support from the fund, she was able to finish her last semester. Last Spring, she was finally able to graduate and receive her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies.
“It takes a village to have helped me, and that's what SF State was able to provide.”
-Juthaporn Chaloeicheep (B.A.,'20)
Unfortunately, Juthaport is not the only student facing hardship this year: HOPE Crisis Fund applications have skyrocketed, with more than $3 million in requests made by almost 1,500 students since March. “It became a different story once COVID-19 hit,” said SF State Interim Associate Dean of Students Pam Su, who helps oversee the fund. “Starting in March, most students who needed help from the fund were experiencing a loss of income. That was less common before the pandemic.” As students return to their classes this semester, their needs for emergency funding have persisted, with many encountering new crises due to wildfires, continued job losses, and the loss of federal government unemployment benefits.
To address these needs, the HOPE Crisis Fund continues to focus on assisting students who’ve been impacted by crises. To date, the program has given $299,000 to more than 300 students. Yet the available funds simply haven’t been able to meet demand, says Su, and in October, the University will launch a second phase of the fundraising campaign for the HOPE Crisis Fund.
Since the campaign started in March, the University has raised roughly $560,000 from nearly 600 donors. Donors include SF State alumna and former Director and Vice Chair of Bebe Stores Neda Nobari (B.S., ’84) and lifelong Bay Area resident and philanthropist Kathy Kwan. The Genentech Foundation and the SF State Foundation have also stepped up to provide support. “I’m really grateful for the people who see the benefit of donating to this fund and how much it helps our students succeed,” said Su. “Because of their generosity, our students have the support they need to get through these trying times.”
As Su sees it, the HOPE Crisis Fund is key to supporting San Francisco State students in completing their academic journeys, which is crucial in providing security and stability for themselves, their families, and their communities. “Their well-being is directly tied to their success here at SF State,” she said. “We hope that students who need assistance realize that they’re not alone and that someone cares.”
“[Our students'] well-being is directly tied to their success here at SF State. We hope that students who need assistance realize that they're not alone and that someone cares.”
-Pam Su, Associate Dean of Students
Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Funding Initiatives
Career Services & Leadership Development
Through integrated learning opportunities, the Center promotes career exploration and leadership development.
Guardian Scholars serves former and current foster care youth in pursuing their undergraduate degrees.
Project Rebound assists formerly incarcerated individuals in admissions and academic success at the University.
Basic Needs Initiatives
The Basic Needs Initiatives support students in reaching their full potential by responding to student hunger and housing insecurity.