#WescomKindness Initiatives Support Educators, Students & Families Impacted by Distance Learning

October 27, 2020

Known for its commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, Wescom Credit Union today announced two #WescomKindness initiatives to support educators, students, and families impacted by educational and financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wescom has donated more than $53,000 in tutoring scholarships via Sylvan Learning, funded more than $6,500 in teachers’ projects across Southern California via DonorsChoose, as well as created an online resource to assist students and their families as part of its mission to help Southern Californians build better financial futures.

Wescom will be funding tutoring scholarships through two Sylvan Learning Centers in the South Bay – Gardena and Torrance. Additionally, Wescom helped fund projects through DonorsChoose.org for teachers and classes at Lincoln Elementary School in Torrance and Cimarron Avenue Elementary School in Hawthorne.

“We are proud to support teachers, students, and their families across Southern California through #WescomKindness at a time when they need it most,” said Tamar Atamian, Vice President Marketing, Wescom Credit Union. “The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on our education system and many students are affected by challenges brought about by distance learning. We’re also very aware that many families are facing increased financial pressures during this time. At Wescom, we believe that money should never be an obstacle for a student going to college or having access to resources that improve learning. Working with partners like Sylvan, we are hopefully able to make a difference in these students’ lives.”

Tutoring Scholarships for College-Bound Students
Wescom donated more than $53,000 to support college-bound students via tutoring scholarships fulfilled by Sylvan Learning Centers across Southern California, in or near the communities where Wescom maintains a local branch. Eighteen Sylvan Learning Centers participated, awarding services such as SAT/ACT tutoring and college application essay writing assistance to 38 deserving juniors and seniors attending local public high schools.

“We’ve seen firsthand how many families have been impacted by COVID-19 and, especially, distance learning,” said Emily Levitt, Vice President of Education, Sylvan Learning. “Thanks to Wescom, these students in Southern California will receive the extra tutoring help they need to overcome some of those challenges as they continue to prepare for college. We are thrilled to partner with Wescom to bring these resources to our valued student communities.”

To further support college-bound high school students and their families Wescom has created an online resource to provide them with practical information—like decoding financial aid terms—to learn about the different ways to pay for college. Wescom also offers their Smart Option Student Loan® by Sallie Mae®, which can be an ideal solution to help families pay for college expenses not covered by scholarships, grants, and federal loans. Wescom’s GenEdge Account, designed for young adults ages 15 to 17, helps students learn how to build wealth, maintain it, and use the tools to reach their financial goals. For more information, visit wescom.org/college.

Funded Teachers’ Projects Throughout Southern California
Beginning in the Spring and continuing into the Fall as school districts throughout Southern California required students to attend classes remotely or do some form of distance learning, many teachers quickly realized they needed additional materials to help their students access the curriculum, or to make their virtual classroom more engaging. To address these needs, Wescom funded more than $6,500 across 61 individual teachers’ projects identified through DonorsChoose.org, an education crowdfunding nonprofit that puts needed funds directly into classrooms.

Some examples include:
• Art supplies for students to be creative at home during this challenging time for a classroom in Anaheim
• Chapter books that students could read together with their classroom while remote in Covina
• Headphones with microphones to filter out the distractions while distance learning for elementary school students in Costa Mesa
• Chromebooks to improve the distance learning experience for middle school students in Pasadena
• Books to create a diverse classroom library, so students could broaden their perspectives for a middle school in Ontario
• Portable desks to give students a place to do their schoolwork for a middle school in Oxnard

For additional information, visit the website at https://wescom.org/college/.