SLU Students for Life surpasses goal for endowment that helps pregnant, parenting students

St. Louis University's Students for Life organization recently announced that it has raised more than $192,000 for the Virginia D. Murphy Endowment for Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance.

In 2008, Students for Life established the endowment to help SLU's pregnant and parenting students as they face the financial hardships associated with raising children while continuing their education. The Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance (PPSA) committee was formed as part of Students for Life to increase funds and awareness for the resource.

The endowment currently exceeds $192,000, surpassing the committee's five-year fundraising goal of $175,000 set in October 2009. This is the second goal the committee has achieved, the first being $25,000 to establish a permanent university endowment.

Since 2009, 49 grants totalling $25,389 in financial assistance have been dispersed. Additionally, the PPSA committee has created community resource folders and has partnered with the university bookstore to offer free textbook rentals to pregnant and parenting students.

The endowment has been supported through individual donors and fundraising events, including the Run for Their Lives 5K. The ninth annual race will be held at SLU in the spring of 2015.

Having reached the initial and five-year fundraising goals, the PPSA committee has set a new goal to further improve support for student parents. The committee aims to raise enough money to disperse $20,000 each year by 2020. The committee will continue to identify other projects, including increasing access to child care and family housing on campus.

Over the years, Students for Life has received several national recognitions for their efforts, including the Community Outreach Award and the Group of the Year Award from Students for Life of America, and the Evangelium Vitae Award from Georgetown University Right to Life. The organization also has received inquiries from other universities on implementing programs to offer assistance to pregnant and parenting students.

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