Maverick Relief Fund

Continuing Their Education with The Maverick Relief Fund

Jessica Hurdebei (pictured above) is a CMU student who paid a majority of her bills by living on what she made in tips waitressing. It wasn’t easy but she was getting by. She worked in sales since she was 14 to be able to pursue becoming 
a mediator.

Then COVID-19 caused her life’s dream to come abruptly crashing down. Within a few short weeks, her job vanished and she had no way to continue in school. Or so she thought.

She questioned how she might afford both school and her living expenses. Instead of dropping out, she heard about the Maverick Relief Fund, a fund created by the CMU Foundation to help students who were financially devastated by COVID-19.

She applied for funding and received help from the relief fund. The good news — she’s still 
in school.

“My anxieties … are high during this pandemic,” she said. “Luckily CMU has done a great job supporting its students.”

When COVID-19 struck last spring the need for supporting students like Jessica was greater than ever. But to help her and many other students, the CMU Foundation knew they would have to create a new playbook, and do it quickly amidst a significant amount 
of uncertainty.

“We were suddenly faced with students who may have relied on their parents for financial support and their parents may have lost their jobs. Students, like Jessica, may have lost their jobs because employers either had to close, or in some cases, go out of business altogether,” said Foundation CEO Liz Meyer.

For those reasons and others, the Foundation quickly launched the Maverick Relief Fund. The goal was simple and straightforward: Provide micro-grants to CMU students who through no fault of their own were suddenly facing financial hardship as a result 
of COVID-19.

The Foundation set a fundraising goal of $125,000 and at the beginning of the fall semester more than $140,000 had 
been raised.

Meyer said the support from the community was more than she ever expected.

“So many businesses, individuals and organizations stepped up and gave to the relief fund. It was gratifying beyond all expectations and thanks to their generosity there are many students still in school who otherwise may not have been. I can’t think of anything the Foundation has done that speaks more to the caring extended community that is Colorado Mesa University.”