Photo of Alisha Rider

Rider receives Finish Line Grant during difficult time

Alisha Rider, an Interpreter Education major at Blue Ridge Community College, was a recent recipient of one of the College’s Finish Line Grants, which gave her a hand up when she needed it most.

Finish Line Grants are given to students after a variety of events take place in their lives that hinder their completion of coursework. These can include everything from a flat tire to a natural disaster, and cover up to $1,000 per student per Program Year (July 1-June 30).

For the 27-year-old Rider, all was going well in fall 2019 until she noticed that she and her husband were falling behind on rent. She realized this was due to her cutting back on hours at work while she took a larger load of classes than usual. Thinking the reduced hours wouldn’t affect her family noticeably, Rider was shocked to discover the bind it had put them in.

Shortly after, she applied for a Finish Line Grant and received it in October 2019. She explained how it was a massive relief for her family.

“We didn’t wind up getting a late fee or anything at all,” Rider proudly said. “We were so thankful.”

The process for receiving the grant was incredibly simple, she said, having received the grant the day after applying for it.

Rider encourages all students to consider Finish Line Grants as they work through college.

“If you’re working to improve your education, put qualifications on your resume and take these classes, you may need a little help!” she added. “This is a resource that should be taken advantage of.”

Rider is set to graduate in May, and is looking forward to growing in the ASL field.

To apply for a Finish Line Grant, contact the NCWorks Career Center on the Henderson County Campus (Continuing Education building) or the Transylvania County Campus (Straus Building).

If approved, an NCWorks Career Center Advisor will handle payments. Funds will not be distributed directly to the student, but to the entity providing the service for the student.

Unexpected circumstances could happen to anyone at any time, which can be very stressful. Thankfully, Blue Ridge’s Finish Line Grants exist to help you focus on your future, rather than your current predicament.