Tri-Cities Hardship Fund: a new way to help students in emergenc - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Hardship Fund: a new way to help students in emergencies

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RICHLAND, WA - Ahead of its birthday on Wednesday, WSU Tri-Cities is starting a new fund to help students overcome financial obstacles.

In anticipation of Giving Day, the school wanted to find a way to help students dealing with emergencies that might make it hard to graduate on time. To that effect, the WSU Tri-Cities Hardship Fund was born.

The initiative, in conjunction with #CougsGive, gathers funds that will go toward helping students in crisis and extreme hardship, preventing those who would otherwise have to give up on their educational dreams due to financial struggle.

For many, this new project hits close to home. Alums from WSU Tri-Cities are not only members of the community, but also have an active role in the area's success.

"These are not individuals that will graduate from this college and then you'll never see again," said Marisela Garza, Int. Director of Development at WSU Tri-Cities. "Over 81 percent percent of our students graduate from our local campus and then actually stay in our community to work. So, by helping these individuals be successful, you're impacting our community and the success that we have here locally."

The school also plans to do a number of challenges on Wednesday to help raise money. One of them even involves having the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs jump into the river if $500 is raised by 5 p.m., which they'll broadcast live on the school's Facebook page.

The link to the #CougsGive fundraiser will only be live this Wednesday at After that, anyone who is interested can go to the Give section on the school's website at