It’s well understood in The University of Baltimore community that many, if not most, of our students are managing numerous professional and personal responsibilities while attending classes. This fact can be traced back to the institution’s nearly 100-year-old history as a place for ambitious working people to seek out a degree while they built their careers. But that legacy comes with a big unknown: How do you balance all of those responsibilities—working one or more jobs (maybe even starting your own business), taking care of family, paying the bills—with your education?

“Even a small emergency can derail an educational experience,” says Theresa Silanskis, vice president of the Office of Advancement and External Relations. Fortunately, she says, UBalt’s many supporters are determined to make sure students can overcome these life challenges.

Pavan Purswani, associate director in the Office of Student Support, says the University’s Student Emergency Assistance Fund is an ideal way for a typical challenge, financial in nature, to be overcome. During the pandemic, he says, “The challenges aren’t new—they were amplified.”

Currently, the fund is receiving a substantial boost from donors, Silanskis notes.

“That’s what we want to do as an institution, and that’s what our community that surrounds us wants to do,” she says. “They want to help our students. They want them to succeed.”