Optum Idaho Donates $15K to CWI Student Emergency Fund

Published: April 10, 2023

College of Western Idaho (CWI) is truly grateful to receive $10,000 from Optum Idaho as part of CWI Giving Day. Optum Idaho has also made a promise to provide an additional dollar-for-dollar match of up to $5,000 for Giving Day donations — making, in total, a $15,000 pledge from Optum Idaho.

Optum Idaho’s donation will support CWI’s Student Emergency Fund, which supports the College’s students when they need it the most. Support through this fund can be provided for students in need of immediate assistance with childcare, healthcare, housing, or other emergencies that may result in them dropping out of school.

More than 98% of students who received funding assistance in 2021 came back to school during the next two semesters. 

“Knowing that non-medical factors, such as housing, transportation, and food insecurity, can negatively impact the physical and behavioral health of Idahoans, Optum Idaho is proud to help support the CWI’s Student Emergency Stabilization Fund”, said Optum Idaho Executive Director, Georganne Benjamin. “We know from CWI’s own research that students who have access to the emergency fund are far more likely to stay in school, and by helping to remove barriers to educational attainment, Optum Idaho and CWI are partnering together to make sure Idaho can meet its future workforce needs.”

Optum Idaho manages outpatient behavioral health benefits for Idaho Medicaid members and provides free resources to promote mental health awareness and reduce stigma for all Idahoans.

"I believe in the power of CWI to deliver affordable and quality educational opportunities to students from all backgrounds across the Treasure Valley,” said CWI President Gordon Jones. “CWI is committed to providing access to resources that will make a difference to students throughout their time in college. Optum Idaho’s donation and matching challenge to the Student Emergency Fund is a powerful way to support this mission and help students overcome the challenges they face in pursuing their education.”

CWI invites alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and community members to join our first-ever CWI Giving Day — a 24-hour campaign — Wednesday, April 12, and Thursday, April 13. CWI Giving Day supports students and areas of the College that make a difference in our community’s lives, like the Student Emergency Fund.

To get involved, people can do so by donating and sharing the CWI Giving Day page with friends, family, colleagues, and others in their community.

CWI Giving Day will launch on Wednesday, April 12 at 12 p.m., MST, and close on Thursday, April 13 at 12 p.m., MST.

For those with questions or in need of more information about CWI Giving Day, please contact CWI Foundation at foundation@cwi.edu.

Donate to CWI Giving Day

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