(ROSENBERG, Texas) – While the holidays can be a time of joy and family bonding, for many, financial stress can dampen the spirit of the season. Larissa Moreno, the Texas State Technical College Advocacy and Resource Center representative at the Fort Bend County campus, was determined to help in any way she could.
“Many of our students don’t have enough,” Moreno said. “To find out who needed help, I talked with staff, faculty and the students themselves to see how I and the ARC could help.”
The students attending TSTC come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are fresh out of high school, some come after years of service in the military, and yet others are looking for a career or life change. While the ARC strives to help each student throughout the year, the holiday season is especially a time of need for many.
Moreno gathered a list of students who needed help and then got to work. Between her and the student workers at the ARC, they gathered supplies and went shopping.
The resulting meal kits were based on the needs and wants of each student, from their family sizes to their appliances and cooking abilities. Generally each kit came with a frozen turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and green beans, dressing and rolls. Even some tools needed to cook and store the food, like trays for the turkey, bags and containers, were included.
“We wanted to make sure they (the students) had everything they needed to have a memorable Thanksgiving,” Moreno said. “When we handed out the meal kits, they were very excited and their words were appreciative.”
The ARC helps students not just financially throughout the year, but also with things like transportation, a food pantry and scholarships. Knowing that she is able to help students no matter their needs makes Moreno proud.
“It makes your heart smile and warm to give back to the students,” Moreno said. “They are trying to better themselves. We want to remove the barriers to help them do that.”
Registration for TSTC’s spring semester is open. For more information, go to tstc.edu.