Eagles for Eagles: Helping Students Soar

Skyler Black

The Student Government Association has crafted a unique fundraising initiative which provides Georgia Southern students with the opportunity to raise funds for students who need help furthering their education.

This fundraising initiative works by giving a financial reward to students in extreme financial hardship. SGA President Azell Francis says the award does not have an exact definition, but she describes it as a one-time financial award.

“As a Georgia Southern student, you are eligible for this award only once in your collegiate career,” Francis said. “This is after you have exhausted all other financial systems available to you.”

Awards can be used on various things from purchasing books to helping pay for living situations.

“The awards that we have given out allowed students to purchase books that they need or codes that they need that they would otherwise be unable to purchase, but also assist with some living situations so that they would have a place to stay while they’re studying,” Patrice Jackson, Dean of Students, said.

This year is only the second year that Eagles for Eagles has been around. Students facing financial hardships are common and the fundraising goal is to help students become the person that they are destined to be after going through college.

During the first year here at Georgia Southern, Eagles for Eagles was able to raise enough money to have three students receive awards throughout the year. They raise money by coordinating with other events on campus and having students donate money in that way.

“We do have money available and it’s not as much as we would love, but it’s there and we can help and we need students to know that we can help,” Dean Jackson said.

Eagles for Eagles is doing a 50/50 raffle right now for the Georgia Southern University athletic foundation by helping to sell raffle tickets. Fifteen percent of the amount sold will go back into the Eagles for Eagles fundraiser.

“If each student were to give up $1, or one candy bar, and donate that dollar, then in one month we could raise $20,517,” Francis said.

The most important thing for the organization to do is to stay fiscally responsible since there are so many students in need. The only way that the awards can be given is if they are continuing to raise money for the program. As of now, Eagles for Eagles is looking for more partnerships like ones they have had with the IFC and UPB for on campus events.

“Eagles for Eagles truly represents who we are at Georgia Southern. We embrace that idea of being large scale small feel,” Francis said. “At Georgia Southern, we all want to soar, we all want to succeed, and if my dollar can help another student soar, then I think it’s all worth it.”

The University Programming Board held an event in collaboration with SGA for the fundraiser in the form of Dancing with the Stars last year. Last year’s Doo-Dah Dance and Step Show that was held in Hanner Fieldhouse raised over$3,000 for Eagles for Eagles. They also received a donation of $500 from the Inter Fraternity Council, and after several other donations and events were able to raise over $12,000in their first year. The IFC also held a golf tournament this semester that raised $1,700.

Each semester they are holding one large event to benefit the program and in the spring semester the SGA is planning another Dancing with the Stars which will be bigger and better than the previous one. This fundraising initiative was implemented to help out students in need but has also had an effect on the students donating for the cause.