If there was ever a moment that struck at the heart of our mission, it was the COVID-19 pandemic. This 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”.
When COVID hit college campuses, Wily jumped into action. I had my coach emailing me, helping me problem solve, figuring out how I was going to get safe, secure housing. Wily stepped up to the plate when those gaps that already existed at our institutions widened.
Mathieu (he/him), Massachusetts Institute of Technology '21
We always tell Scholars to rely on the strength of their pack, and the pandemic has given a whole new meaning to that statement. Being a part of Wily Scholars’ packs means we did not freeze when COVID-19 began to impact their lives. We advocated for Scholars at their schools, and raised enough money to ensure they could pay for rent and food without question. Being a part of Wily Scholars’ packs means making career connections to help students find jobs and internships as work study and other means of support disappear. It means committing to making antiracism a part of our daily work, hiring a DEI consultant and initiating a Black Scholar Affinity Group. It means distributing 71 sets of holiday gifts and care packages, and figuring out how to be together for the holidays and other group events.
Wily staff prepare to greet Scholars at our virtual Fall Community Day
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Wily Network has continued our important work with Wily Scholars. During the peak of the crisis, helping to secure housing, food, and mental health services for Scholars during the pandemic was Wily’s top priority. During that critical period, we were able to ensure that every Scholar had their basic needs met. Clinical coaches met virtually with their students, and Wily provided group programming using a variety of online platforms to keep Scholars connected during this period of social disconnection.
Boston College students meet up with their coach for a socially distanced care package drop off
Meeting with Scholars in person when we can continues to be our top priority. We ensure that our in person gatherings follow all public health and university guidelines.
The bottom line is that Wily is here for Scholars. No matter what the upcoming months may bring, Scholars will be able to rely on the Wily Pack.