Kent State student finds relief with federal aid after losing on-campus job


Larissa Pierce said she's glad that she can focus on her mental health after losing her on-campus employment amid the COVID-19 pandemic

KENT, Ohio – Students employed on college campuses lost more than face-to-face instruction — they lost important financial support.

College students found hope and a means of support, however, through the federal CARES Act.

Kent State University student and artist Larissa Pierce said she finished her senior year amid the COVID-19 pandemic with financial assistance provided to her through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a part of the larger Care Act.

“Well, overall, it’s been really hard as an art student because all my classes are two hours and 45 minutes, so when studios went remote, it was very difficult to do like ceramics from home,” she said.

Pierce supports herself through campus work combined with a part-time job at Dairy Queen. She was happy Kent State paid her and other campus workers, even though the campus was essentially dark.

Students nationwide still feel locked out after abruptly being sent home last Spring and with the Fall semester still pending.

Dr. Eddie Howard is the vice president of Student Affairs at Youngstown State University.

“Between the private donations we’ve received through our Penguin to Penguin Fund and our food pantry and all of the donations we’ve received, we’ve tried to fill in the gap in those ways,” he said.

Administrators and students want to alleviate some of the anxieties associated with this pandemic.

“It was kind of a relief to be like, I can relax this month and try and focus on my mental health while not stressing myself out about work,” Pierce said.

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