Biz Briefs: BCC Offers Micro-Grants to Help Students Get Out of Debt
Berkshire Community College, with sponsorship from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, is offering select students micro-grants to help them pay their past-due debts and stay on track to graduate. The program is called the "Guardian Value Scholarship," which identifies students who are in good academic standing but unable to re-enroll due to college debt.
The scholarship can help reduce or remove a student's debt to the college which in turn allows them to register for upcoming spring 2018 classes at BCC. The maximum value of the scholarship is $1,500. If a student owes more than $1,500, they are expected to pay down the remaining balance of their debt before they can register.
Recipients of the Scholarship must agree to take a full course load (12 or more credits), including the college's BUS-139 Personal Finance course, a course that is supported by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and is free to students. In the fall 2017 semester, 39 students took the free personal finance course, which aims to help them learn to be more financially savvy. For more information about Guardian Value Scholarships, contact Anne Moore in the Financial Aid office at 413-236-1641.
The Price Rite Marketplace store in Pittsfield has joined other locations in its annual Check-Out Hunger fundraising campaign, which raises funds to benefit local food banks in communities served by Price Rite stores. Through December 30, 64 Price Rite stores throughout Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia will raise funds by collecting donations of $1, $3 or $5 from shoppers at checkout.
In support of the fight against hunger, 100 percent of the funds raised will be donated to local hunger-fighting charities and organizations. The supermarket chain contributes approximately $500,000 annually to local food banks and food pantries to benefit local families in need within the communities it serves. In Pittsfield, the money will be given to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Know your rights
Kimball Farms Life Care in Lenox will host a drop-in clinic with attorney Kate Alexander from the Berkshire Consumer Services Office on Friday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. Attorney Alexander can discuss such issues as filing a credit freeze, consumer fraud, scams and other consumer information. Visitors are invited to drop by and ask questions beginning at 2 p.m.
Those wishing to attend are asked to register by calling 413-637-7043. The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.
Jacob's Pillow has been awarded $300,000 from the Ford Foundation as a strand of Challenging Inequality through Creativity and Free Expression to support the recently imagined Pittsfield Moves! program. Pittsfield Moves! was conceived by Jacob's Pillow in collaboration with lead partner The Berkshire Bridges – Working Cities Pittsfield Initiative to help local stakeholders within educational, social, and economic justice organizations develop a practice of storytelling and relationship building through movement. The Ford Foundation is one the world's largest philanthropic foundations focused on global social change.
After key Community Conversations held in Pittsfield, choreographer Paloma McGregor, director of Angela’s Pulse, has been selected as lead artist for this year-long project. This selection process was implemented in a way that enabled community members to have direct agency in the project from its conception.
Pittsfield Moves! will work to create community performance through multi-tiered partnerships over the course of the year. The project will present its first iteration at Jacob's Pillow as part of the Inside/Out Performance Series during Festival 2018 and will culminate in a performance in Pittsfield in the Fall of 2018. In the Spring of 2019, the Pillow will host a major international summit on dance and social change where Pittsfield Moves! will be presented as a case study alongside other projects from across the country and the world.
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