Scholars COVID-19

COVID-19: How the Mitchell Institute can help

Updated 2/14/22

The Mitchell Institute is determined to ensure that Mitchell Scholars have the tools and resources they need to succeed in the face of the uncertain circumstances that the novel coronavirus has caused across the nation. We understand that Mitchell Scholars, like so many others across the country, have experienced a great deal of upheaval in the past months, and want to provide resources relevant to the ongoing crisis in one place for easy access and reference.

It can be very difficult to focus on educational and career goals when the learning environment continues to change unexpectedly. We’d like to highlight our emergency fund in the event that your housing, employment, or transportation has been jeopardized by the crisis.

Mitchell Institute Resources

Although Mitchell Institute staff are working remotely, they are still committed to helping Scholars however they can. Scholars can feel free to reach out to staff members at any time, even if it’s just to check in and say hello. Please find a staff member’s email address on the listing at the bottom of this page if you have any questions. If you’re unsure who to email, reach out to and you’ll be directed accordingly. Staff members are happy to talk via phone or web-based video conference.

SOS Fund
Our contingency fund is available for all current Scholars to use in the event that housing, employment, or transportation has been jeopardized by recent events. These are just a few examples of the kinds of expenses with which the SOS Fund has been able to assist.

External Resources

Beyond all that the Institute can offer, Scholars and their families should also be aware of the following resources available to all:

  • Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The Food and Drug Administration has also authorized for private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid to reimburse the purchase of up to 8 individual at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per person per month.
  • The City of Portland has established a rental relief program, for which you may be eligible.
  • The Maine State Housing Authority has set up a COVID-19 Rental Relief Program, for which you may qualify.
  • Make sure you have joined the Mitchell Institute Facebook and LinkedIn Scholar and Alumni Groups, as these are excellent resources for news, and also for leads on housing or career-related endeavors.
  • Continue to check in with your college/university, as you are likely to receive regular updates from them. Some have set up emergency funds to help, which may be a helpful counterpoint to using the Mitchell Institute Promise Fund.
  • Remember to make use of the career centers on your college campuses—even through the summer. These and any campus recruiting portals you have access to are valuable and robust tools.
  • If you’re adjusting your study habits to remote or hybrid learning, you may find this guide helpful. Used with permission from the Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan.
  • The federal Department of Education has waived interest on all loans owed to them and suspended payments through May 1, 2022.  Be sure to confirm conditions with your borrower to see if you qualify for the waiver.
  • The Federal Communications Commission is offering an affordable connectivity program for individuals and families struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic, for which you may qualify.
  • Our friends at the John T. Gorman Foundation have created a robust page of COVID-related resources.
  • The National Scholarship Providers Association has a variety of resources and articles available (under “Student Support”).
  • The Jed Foundation has a comprehensive mental health resource center  to help with your own or a friend’s mental health. The Foundation also held a webinar on coping and mental health strategies around the coronavirus.
  • NAMI Maine has set up a Teen Text Support Line, available for folks 14-20 years old from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day.