Cerritos College offers food, housing, laptops to students during COVID-19 pandemic

Cerritos College has offered over $200,000 in emergency financial aid, meals, laptops, and even housing.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The L.A. Food Bank and Cerritos College joined together to host a food bank for the community, just one part of the assistance Cerritos College has been giving their students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarom Chea, a deaf student at Cerritos College, said the school gave his family food and provided him with a laptop to help with distance learning.

"I've been switching over to remote learning from home. And it's been frustrating at times," Chea said through interpreter Alex Fox.

Seventy percent of the roughly 21,000 students at Cerritos College are on financial aid, the most at-risk group for dropping out. When the pandemic began in March, many students struggled with access to Wi-Fi, a quiet place to study, and even consistent meals.

"We began to offer emergency food cards, grocery cards for students. They can receive financial aid support. They can receive emergency aid that will help them with utilities, car payments, as well as the laptops and technology," said Dr. Dilcie Perez, VP of Student Services at Cerritos College.

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The laptops are just one component of the assistance Cerritos College has given to students. The gym has opened as a study hall, over $250,000 in emergency financial assistance has been given to students in need, and this summer, the school became the first college in the state to offer housing for unsheltered students.

The Village, a cluster of townhomes, is available for students experiencing homelessness.

Perez said, "We may not be able to meet every single need, but we sure are going to try."
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