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July 14, 2020

In A Time Of Uncertainty, MSCI Chapters Give Back

For postsecondary school students, there are few certainties these days. Some still do not know if they’ll be taking college classes online or in person this fall, and most have no idea what campus will look – or feel – like when they return.

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) and industrial metals community it represents is committed to easing some of the uncertainty surrounding higher education for its member company employees. To sustain the organization’s scholarship program amid the COVID-19 pandemic, MSCI will continue to support its chapters in 2020 by awarding them dollar amounts equal to what they received from MSCI in 2019.

Funding the MSCI Scholarship Program

MSCI’s chapters usually rely heavily on golf outings and other social events to raise money for these scholarships. (MSCI chapters each maintain and administer an individual scholarship program. MSCI headquarters matches each chapter’s fundraising efforts up to $10,000 annually.) While many of these activities will not happen this year, chapters have been creative in their efforts to sustain their initiatives. One chapter already has raised a significant sum through direct appeals to member companies, while another has established a GoFundMe platform for donations.

In a new video, scholarship recipients and sisters Jessica and Samantha Fagan, who attend Colorado State University and the University of Miami, respectively, discuss the challenges of fundraising in a COVID-19 environment, and what the Central States Chapter scholarship program has meant to them.

Jessica said, “I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go” to Colorado State “had it not been for the generous support from MSCI and all of its members.” After graduation, Jessica hopes to put her degree and knowledge of restoration ecology toward wildfire mitigation in the western portion of the United States. Jessica’s summer employment plans went forward despite the pandemic, and she has been able to continue important field work that will support her studies.

A rising junior, Sammie is majoring in political science and anthropology (in addition to minoring in art and Latin American studies and participating in student government). Like so many of her fellow students, Sammie had internships and study abroad experiences cancelled because of COVID-19. She maintains an optimistic outlook despite the challenges and notes “so many students rely on” the MSCI scholarships to facilitate the type of opportunities she has had.

More Than $8 Million Raised

Since its inception 16 years ago, the MSCI program has awarded nearly $8 million to more than 3,700 recipients. While Jessica and Sammie are pursuing bachelor’s degrees, students are able to use the proceeds to attend the two- or four-year institution or trade school of their choice.

The aid provides peace of mind to students and parents within the industrial metals community, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. (It is notable that, in November 2009, when the world was suffering the impact of the Great Recession, MSCI’s scholarship surpassed the $1 million fundraising mark.)

Recipient Stephanie De Vincentis said, “Knowing the MSCI supports what I’m trying to achieve has boosted my motivation to be successful in all aspects of life. It has allowed me to focus on my studies and less on financing my degree.” One parent told MSCI he was “ecstatic”—and “relieved”—to hear his son would receive an MSCI scholarship. Most of all, though, “it was just an acknowledgement of his efforts, and I couldn’t be more proud.” (Click here to watch more student and parent reactions.)

How to Give

MSCI members should contact their local chapter to make a personal or company donation to their chapter’s scholarship program. The public also may contribute to the scholarship program through MSCI’s nonprofit foundation. Click here for more information.

In March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was threatening to take hold in North America, the following note, along with a check, arrived at MSCI headquarters:

“Please accept this direct donation to the MSCI Scholarship Fund as we are very grateful that a number of our employees’ children over the years have benefited from the program. What a great way to help our younger generations continue their education and carry-on through life with pride, knowledge and sense of purpose in the world.”

Because of the efforts of MSCI’s generous member companies, hundreds of students in the industrial metals community will be able to continue their education this fall—no matter where their classes take place.

Donate or apply: www.msci.org/scholarships