Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart today presented Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) President John Holdnak with a $25,158 check to support students, faculty and administrators who were impacted by Hurricane Michael. These funds represent a portion of donations made to the Florida College System Foundation; the remaining funds will be distributed to Chipola College and Tallahassee Community College.
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Michael is still being felt across the Panhandle, and many of our fellow Floridians continue to need help rebuilding their homes and lives,” said Commissioner Stewart. “We are immensely grateful to the organizations and individuals who made generous donations, and I am honored to present these funds, which I hope will ease the burden so many students and families are facing this holiday season.”
GCSC’s main Panama City Campus sustained significant damage to all 23 of its buildings across approximately 75 acres, and the school was closed for more than three weeks. Through the hard work of restoration crews, faculty, staff and administrators, the campus re-opened for students November 5.
“Over the last few weeks we have all been working hard to keep students enrolled in their courses and making progress towards their educational goals,” said President Holdnak. “Keeping their hopes and dreams alive is a critical step on our community’s road to post-Michael recovery. More than 1,000 students have applied for emergency grant funds, and thanks to the incredible generosity of Commissioner Stewart and the Florida Department of Education, we can continue assisting our students now and in the weeks to come.”
Monetary donations for students may still be made through the GCSC Foundation at gcscfoundation.org (click “Donate Now” and designate funds for “Hurricane Relief”).
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit fldoe.org.