Students in underrepresented groups at West Virginia University will have expanded opportunities for success as they work toward academic success and graduation. (WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard)
Students in underrepresented groups at West Virginia University will have expanded opportunities for success as they work toward academic success and graduation. (WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard)

Enterprise award to WVU will advance academic opportunities, community for diverse students

Students in underrepresented groups at West Virginia University will have expanded opportunities for success as they work toward academic success and graduation.

A $17,500 grant from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation will support RISE WVU, an Office of Student Success program that helps Black, Latinx and other diverse students build an academic community and complete their degrees. Program initiatives includes success coaching and mentoring, a first-year seminar course, a student-led organization, regular events, and a living-learning community that creates a safe space for minority students.

The contribution is a piece of the ROAD Forward commitment to allocate $35 million to more than 70 global Enterprise operating teams to drive local impact as part of its broader commitment to donate $55 million over five years to organizations that advance social and racial equity in the communities where it operates.

“It’s important to have that safe space,” Program Coordinator Niara Campbell said. “There’s a definite need to have and foster community amongst people of color to sit, communicate, have conversations about the institution and how we experience the institution through feelings of isolation or imposter syndrome.”

RISE WVU launched in 2019 to help boost retention rates for minority students at WVU. While growing the program has been a challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Campbell noted that RISE is essential to cultivating diversity among WVU’s student population. The program complements broader efforts to create a more inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff across WVU’s campuses.

“Programs like RISE are important because not every student looks the same,” Mia Sebastian, a RISE WVU student participant, said. “There aren’t resources, and it stems from not having the need. As the school diversifies, the needs of the school change to help minority students feel comfortable.”

Sebastian said one of the most impactful events she attended was a panel discussion focused on self-worth held in conjunction with National Black Love Day. With the grant support from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Campbell hopes to offer more free events like that one to empower students to grow and succeed.

“We really want to make sure students are tapping into their resources and are not kept from obtaining an education,” Campbell said. “My program uses community development to help build self-efficacy and support racial-identity models to positively affect their student, academic and social life.”

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Enterprise Holdings, which, through its integrated network of independent regional subsidiaries and franchise, operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car brands. Previous grants to WVU have supported the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.

Enterprise’s local grants program empowers employees to take the lead on identifying organizations that are best equipped to address social and racial equity gaps in their own communities across three areas: early childhood development, youth health and wellness, and career and college preparation.

The grant funding was awarded through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donation on behalf of the University.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email

SHOPS & SERVICES

Jess Scott holds her new book, ‘Miss Penelope Thundertoes Changes Her Mind.’ The book is geared for children aged 3 to 8 -- but it’s also for anyone who has a love for pigs.
Member Exclusive

Wesleyan professor pens children’s book, ‘Miss Penelope Thundertoes Changes Her Mind”

BUCKHANNON – Jess Scott, a professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, has penned a children’s book she hopes will keep kids oinking with fun – but really ‘Miss Penelope Thundertoes Changes Her Mind’ is for swine enthusiasts of all ages. […]

Help us reinvent local journalism and unlock unlimited access to every story, every day. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

BUHS Sports

Raising the Jolly Roger With… Evan Coffman

TENNERTON — In continuing to bring you the best sports coverage in Upshur County, the My Buckhannon sports department is pleased to bring you another edition of our weekly exclusive — Raising the Jolly Roger

WVWC Sports

Wesleyan announces 2022 baseball schedule

BUCKHANNON, W.Va.– West Virginia Wesleyan baseball and head coach Lee Bradley released their 2022 schedule this weekend. The ‘Cats are scheduled for 14 home contests at Hank Ellis Field during the 2022 campaign. The Bobcats kick their season off

WVWC Sports

Tolbert scores 19 but Lady ‘Cats fall to D&E, 67-57

ELKINS, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan (2-10, 1-9) women’s basketball team fell at Davis & Elkins (4-11, 1-9) on Saturday afternoon by a 67-57 score at the McDonnell Center in Elkins, W.Va.. WVWC LeadersCierra Tolbert netted 19

WVWC Sports

‘Cats fall by 11 on the road to Davis & Elkins

ELKINS, W.Va.– The West Virginia Wesleyan (2-16, 1-11) men’s basketball team fell to Davis & Elkins (6-9, 4-7) inside the McDonnell Center on Saturday. Braeden McGrew led the Bobcats with 17 points, but the Senators pulled away in

SHOPS & SERVICES

Cable Broadband

$17 million in broadband funding awarded

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice today announced the preliminary approval of over $17.4 million in Line Extension Advancement and Development (LEAD) program funds for

Thank you for reading this story. Our sponsors make My Buckhannon possible. Show 'em some love!