Weigel grateful for Student Emergency Fund

By Michael Linnell
University Communications Director

MINOT, N.D. – Like many college students across the country, Jordyn Weigel’s life was turned upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The communication sciences and disorders student from Bismarck had her junior year moved completely online, lost her part-time job, was denied unemployment twice, and to top it all off, had a significant health scare in her family.

After being denied unemployment twice, she was a little reluctant to try another avenue after Minot State University contacted her about the Student Emergency Fund.

“I was extremely scared I was going to be denied again. I think I read through the qualifications like 20 times because I was so worried I didn’t meet all of them,” Weigel said. “I was surprised how easy it was to apply. It was a very stress-free process, I just made it stressful by over worrying because of past experiences.”

The Student Emergency Fund was created in partnership with alumnae Mary Quandt ’76 in 2017 to help students with unforeseen financial emergencies that might otherwise prevent them from continuing their education. Thanks in part to matching funds from Quandt, Robert ’60 and Jo Ann Skabo, Minot State Staff Senate, and the MSU Development Foundation, the University restructured its 2020 Giving Day to focus on the Student Emergency Fund.

Weigel’s financial needs were nearly immediate as she found out some of her shifts were going to be canceled after returning from spring break. After losing a couple shifts, her manager informed Weigel and her co-workers the store would be closing for a couple weeks.

The store is still closed.

“I had just gotten back from my trip and I was supposed to work the next day,” she said. “As the time rolled around for me to start getting ready, my manager texted me that I didn’t need to come in because someone else was going to cover my shift, that’s how slow we were.”

The most emotional text for Weigel was the one that contained a link for unemployment.

“I was so upset,” she said. “Never in my life did I think I would ever have to file unemployment — I’ve been working since I was 14! It took me a couple days to get over that before I could even apply. When I finally did, I heard back pretty quickly that I was denied.

“At 20 I really didn’t see myself being in circumstances that could easily lead to being homeless. It’s crazy how fast it happened.”

To add injury to insult, just before the pandemic started, Weigel’s sister broke her foot and her mom was going through a serious health scare. Both of these family issues were stressful enough before school and work changes.

“Since being away at college, anytime something happens to my family it really gets to me. It beyond bothers me that I’m not by their side making sure they’re all right,” Weigel added.

Both her mom and her sister are on the road to recovery, but new issues arose. After Minot State moved to a remote delivery and she found herself unemployed, her first inclination was to return home. But, with the risk of the virus on top of her mother’s illness, she waited.

“I had to take into consideration I had just traveled, so I waited, because getting my mom sick wasn’t an option,” she said. “That to me was so weird, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about germs more in my life. My family has had a very interesting year. I keep telling them I’m going to wrap them all in bubble wrap!”

The University reports $60,060 has been distributed to 140 students from the Student Emergency Fund.

“I just wanted to thank all the Minot State alumni and all those who are supporting the Student Emergency Fund! These last few weeks have been immensely stressful for me as I often struggle to ask others for help. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve stayed up worrying about everything since all of this has happened. I feel like I haven’t taken a deep breath in weeks, and now I finally can. I am beyond grateful to all of the amazing people who were able to make this fund possible to help students like me,” Weigel said in a letter to donors.

The fund has been just one of the various puzzle pieces for Weigel to put together, returning to class has been another. As a communication sciences and disorders major, managing a large workload is just part of the territory.

“So far (being in the program) is going really well,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, as any CD major would most likely tell you, but I think it’s so worth it. Ever since I job shadowed an SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) in high school I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

Having her classes online has added to that workload, but she has employed a couple tricks to keep her focused.

“My classes have been going okay. Being all online isn’t the best,” she said. “I think I’ll finally have it figured out by finals week! I just make tons of to-do lists, because I constantly feel like I’m forgetting assignments.”

Weigel stressed the whole experience dealing with financial issues, school, and the changes that have come from the pandemic have taught her life lessons.

“This experience has taught me to be a lot more careful with my money!” she said. “Aside from that I think it’s taught me a lot about myself. Like asking for help is okay sometimes and that I am way stronger than I thought (also very emotional) but very strong!”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 04/27/20   

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