Supporting Wily Scholars Through this Crisis
This moment is the mission of Wily. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that Wily Scholars can count on us to serve as their safety net, advocate, champion and shoulder to cry on. As one student said, we are their “frontline workers”.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Wily Network is continuing important work with Wily Scholars. Helping to secure housing and food for Wily Scholars during the coming months is Wily’s top priority, and we have been able to ensure that every Scholar will have their basic needs met. Clinical coaches meet virtually with their students, and Wily provides group programming using a variety of online platforms to keep Scholars connected in this period of social disconnection.
Wily staff are working as a relay team to respond quickly to students’ urgent needs as they finish their exams and prepare for summer and the uncertainty of what the fall may bring. While many Scholars were able to remain on their campuses after school closures, some students left to avoid being isolated, only to find themselves in uncomfortable or unsafe situations. We are helping these Scholars return to Boston and providing them with options for safe housing and food security. Whatever happens, Wily is here for them, and we will help as best we can.
I just wanted to say, I don’t know what I’d do without the Wily Network. Times like these remind me of how lucky I am to have connected with you and the program four years ago. I feel completely safe during this insane time knowing I have Wily. My heart goes out to the students in my situation who don't have that right now.
Dining-In with Wily
Wily has moved monthly “Dining Out with Wily” dinners, usually provided by local restaurants, to weekly virtual dinners with take-out from local restaurants. Even with physical distance, we are still joining together as a community to share a meal and talk. Wily Scholars and staff use this time to connect, catch up on the week’s events, and remember that we will always have the Pack’s support. Wily is also hosting trivia nights and other fun virtual activities for all Scholars who wish to attend and have fun with their peers.
Resume and Interview Prep
Even as the world adjusts to a new way of life, Wily Scholars still recognize the need to prepare for their future. Wily is providing virtual resume and interview preparation to all Scholars during this time and is supporting Scholars as they search for employment and internship opportunities for summer 2020. This support is crucial in ensuring Scholars’ financial security for the summer and beyond.
Virtual Coaching Sessions
To maintain the safety of Wily Scholars and Clinical Coaches, coaching sessions are now held virtually–either by phone, video conferencing, or FaceTime. As always, coaches are available to their Scholars 24/7, providing extra support in this turbulent time. In addition to the usual coaching topics, emphasis has been placed on navigating the many academic, financial, and emotional challenges the COVID-19 crisis has created. Coaches are able to support Scholars as they work through complicated feelings about their current situations and ensure that each student’s needs are met.
Thanks to generous donors, Wily was able to deliver “COVID Care Packages” to many Scholars. These packages helped students focus on their academic work during an extremely stressful time and served as a welcome reminder of the care and support available from the entire Wily community.