SECU Foundation Provides $200,000 Grant for Project Addressing Student Learning Inequities

March 15, 2021 11:27 AM EDT

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RALEIGH, N.C., March 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SECU Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to the North Carolina Education Fund in support of a new project, the North Carolina Education Corps (NCEC). The initiative was developed in 2020 by North Carolina educators and leaders to help tackle some of the most pressing needs of public schools throughout the state – specifically addressing the learning inequities intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation grant will assist the North Carolina Education Fund with administrative services, including NCEC training programs and in-service support for the first cohort of corps members delivering services to students and school systems as tutors, mentors, or technology navigators. NCEC is a joint project of the North Carolina State Board of Education, the Governor’s Office, and Local Education Agencies.

Through the initial launch of the project, NCEC will recruit, train, and deploy over 250 corps members across the state to provide wraparound support services virtually and/or in-person for K-12 students. Corps members were selected from a diverse applicant pool of more than 1,000 North Carolinians – college students, recent graduates, and retirees who applied to participate in the program launch. All corps members commit to six months of service and will be compensated for their time serving students and school districts. NCEC deployed the first wave of corps members in January to 21 school districts with an emphasis on Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties.

“Among the many major disruptions in our lives caused by COVID-19 has been the necessity for schools, teachers, and students to shift to remote education options,” observed Jo Anne Sanford, SECU Foundation Board Chair. “This shift has exposed the heightened economic, health, and social disparities among student families and school systems, especially in the state’s most economically distressed counties. We are so pleased to join with the North Carolina Education Corps to help address the stark academic learning challenges students and schools are experiencing.”

“North Carolina Education Corps creates opportunities for North Carolinians to learn, earn, and serve public school students in roles such as tutor and contact tracer, and our corps members offer relief to hardworking teachers and administrators across the state,” said John-Paul C. Smith, NCEC Executive Director. “SECU Foundation will expand these opportunities and fuel the launch of North Carolina Education Corps as it seeks to recruit, train, and deploy corps members to support public school students and teachers this year and beyond.”

About SECU and the SECU FoundationA not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 83 years.  The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trust and estate planning services, and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves over 2.5 million members through 271 branch offices, 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Member Services via phone, a website, and a Mobile App.  Members can also follow and subscribe to SECU on Facebook and YouTube. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services.  Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of over $200 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide. In addition to the website, highlights are also available on the SECU Foundation Instagram page.

Contact:  Jama Campbell, Executive DirectorOffice:  919-839-5562 |

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Check Presentation

L to R: Caroline Farmer-Executive Director, VolunteerNC; Jo Anne Sanford-Board Chair, SECU Foundation; Eric Davis-Chair, State Board of Education; John-Paul C. Smith-Program Director, NC Education Corps; and Shanitah Young-Director of Corps Experience and Recruitment, NC Education Corps.
Source: State Employees' Credit Union (SECU)

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