Showing CARE: Alumnus establishes scholarship fund
KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 12, 2020) — For Kennesaw State University alumnus Chanel Reid, giving back to her alma mater is much more than something she enjoys doing – she calls it her “personal responsibility.”
Reid is actively involved with CARE (Campus Awareness, Resource and Empowerment) Services, which helps KSU students in need by providing financial assistance, temporary housing, access to food and support services. Reid’s latest endeavor has been to establish a $50,000 bequest in her will for an endowed scholarship fund for Kennesaw State students who are assisted by CARE.
“Along with being able to help students with this scholarship, I hope that it inspires other alums to give to KSU in some way,” Reid said. “Everybody deserves help. It takes a village, and I just want to be part of that village.”
Looking for a way to give back to Kennesaw State after graduating with her political science degree in 2016, Reid learned about CARE Services through a friend who worked at KSU. Reid said she is drawn to efforts to assist students, whether it is helping students deal with hunger or homelessness or addressing the unique challenges that non-traditional students face in college.
Reid, 43, took a non-traditional route herself, transferring to Kennesaw State after attending community college and then taking classes part-time for four years while working full time. She now works as a document control specialist for a medical device company, CryoLife, Inc.
“I wasn’t the 18-year-old who could go straight to a four-year college, but, because of KSU, I was able to have an education just like everybody else,” Reid said. “I think that a lot of people don’t understand the challenges that many students face as they’re trying to obtain an education. We need to continue to make sure that other Owls can have the same opportunity that I did.”
Reid became a frequent donor to CARE and also joined the organization’s advisory board. One of her priorities on the board has been to secure external grant funding to help keep CARE’s food pantries stocked.
“Chanel comes in often with carloads of food donations as a result of being awarded the grants to support our efforts,” said Marcy Stidum, director of CARE Services. “We love Chanel's energy and tenacity, and we truly are thankful to have her as a member of the CARE team.”
Reid volunteers for several CARE events and initiatives, such as the annual Empty Bowls project to raise money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. She said that her most impactful experience was participating in the sleep-out challenge during Homelessness Awareness Week, which simulates spending a night in a homeless shelter.
Reid found her passion in helping students through CARE. She encourages current Owls and KSU alumni to find a cause they care about and make a difference in their own way.
“We can’t save the world, but everyone can do something to make the world a better place,” Reid said. “Everybody can do something. The question is, do you want to?”
— Paul Floeckher
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.