Scholars COVID-19

COVID-19: How the Mitchell Institute can help

Updated 5/20/20

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 have experienced a great deal of upheaval in the past few weeks, and wanted to put 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 has changed unexpectedly. We’d like to highlight our emergency fund in the event that your housing, employment, or transportation has been jeopardized by recent events.

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 info@mitchellinstitute.org and you’ll be directed accordingly. Staff members are happy to talk via phone or web-based video conference.

Fellowship Awards
The Fellowship Award Spring 2020 application period has been extended to be available for all current Scholars to use on a rolling basis to fund projects for personal or professional development. If you’re wondering if an endeavor is good fit for a Fellowship Award, email a Mitchell Institute staff member.

Promise Fund
Our emergency 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 Promise 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:

  • Our friends over at the Focus Maine Intern Experience will also be hosting free online events throughout the summer designed to support the career aspirations of college students from Maine, which is a great resource if you find yourself without an internship this summer.
  • 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.
  • The Maine State Housing Authority has set up a COVID-19 Rental Relief Program, for which you may qualify!
  • The federal Department of Education has waived interest on all loans owed to them for the length of the crisis. This means that if you have U.S. Department of Education loans, you will be able to declare a forbearance without incurring capitalized interest. Be sure to confirm conditions with your borrower to see if you qualify for the waiver.
  • Spectrum/Charter is providing free internet for the next 60 days to households with students who are not currently customers. 1-844-488-8395 is the enrollment number.
  • U-Haul will extend 30 days of free self-storage at U-Haul-owned and -operated facilities to help college students impacted by unforeseen schedule changes at their colleges/universities.
  • Enterprise is reducing the age minimum and waiving the young renter fees for rentals through May 31, 2020, so that students can use a rental car to get home to their families.
  • 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 recently 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.