In 2014, Stephanie Davis, a student at Pellissippi State with a major in Business Administration approached the Pellissippi State Foundation. She indicated that she loved to travel around the world and serve the community. She had written an argument essay in her English 1010 class in the spring of 2014. The topic she chose was homeless students. During the research, she found that it was a problem at Pellissippi State. She came up with the idea to create a scholarship for homeless students. Her goal was to roll the scholarship out the next fall. The scholarship is a great opportunity to help students at Pellissippi State providing homeless students assistance to help them finish their educations and have a successful future.
In a recent 2017 survey focusing on basic needs insecurity done by Temple University and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, 43,000 students at 66 institutions in 20 states and Washington, D.C. were surveyed. The survey indicated that 36 percent of students say they are housing insecure, while 9 percent reported being homeless.
Housing insecurity means a student is at risk of eviction, is behind on utilities payments, or is actually homeless. Homelessness can take many forms from students living in a shelter, to students “couch surfing” (staying with friends) to students living in their car if they have one.
With a student population of over 10,500 students, it is unimaginable to think of nine percent of our students being homeless. The reasons for homelessness vary from loss of job, dissolution of marriage or relationship, aging out of the foster care system, the lack of affordable housing and many other reasons.
The requirements for the Homeless Student Scholarship are that students must have a 2.0 GPA and have homeless status verification from an agency or verification through investigation from a Pellissippi State faculty or staff member.