Easy way to help an Austin kid go to college

College tuition varies—from $7,000 per year at a public, four-year college to $27,000 per year at a private four-year college—but no matter what type of college you choose, that amount adds up quickly. For many Austin students, it’s completely unaffordable.

Imagine working hard enough to be accepted for college only to realize you can’t actually afford college. This doesn’t have to happen. You can help!

Volunteers are needed to help families complete financial aid applications at Financial Aid Saturdays, here in Austin.

Volunteers at Financial Aid Saturday events provide personal assistance with filling out the FAFSA. Students and families can also bring other financial aid applications they need help with, including the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) and scholarship applications. It is our mission to help students secure the financial aid they need to go to college.

Events take place Saturdays (Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 26) from 8:30 am – 12:30 p.m. at schools across Austin. They could sure use your help.

Just think: You could be the final push an Austin kid needs toward his college degree. Wow.


Four Austin women who want to help cure cancer

You don’t take the decision to serve on a board lightly. You’ve gotta be committed. That’s why it’s exciting when a person comes on board – it can be tough to fill that role.

So it’s especially exciting for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Austin affiliate, which recently added four new board members, each of them with a direct connection to breast cancer.

Ashley Doran, director of marketing for Cenpatico Behavioral Health, began her involvement with Komen in Fort Worth, where she helped organize teams for the Race for the Cure. She has served as a volunteer for over 10 years, including five years with the Austin Affiliate. Doran was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She plans to use her experience fighting the disease to inspire Austin area women to beat breast cancer.

Kenya J. Johnson, customer service coordinator, Center for Consumer and External Affairs, Texas Department of State Health, is a Chicago native who has lived in Austin for the past nine years. She previously worked at Huston-Tillotson University as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and with the American Cancer Society as the Regional Director of Health Initiatives. Johnson has been a volunteer with the Austin Affiliate since 2000. On July 14, 2003, she lost her mother to breast cancer. Since then, Johnson has been dedicated to educating women about the Komen cause.  Her driving mission is to help African-American women understand the importance of routine mammography screenings.

Juanita Salinas, program coordinator, Texas Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, Texas Department of State Health, has lived in Austin for 16 years and became involved with the local Affiliate while participating in the Race for the Cure during the past ten years. Salinas is a seven year breast cancer survivor. She chose to become a board member because she wants to help minimize the pain and suffering the disease causes and ultimately help find a cure. Her vision is to increase awareness of early detection and advanced treatment methods.
Shelia Bailey Taylor, a State of Texas retiree, is new to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Austin Affiliate. She is a licensed attorney and recent retiree. Prior to her retirement, she served for 12 years as Chief Administrative Law Judge for the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Taylor has lived in Austin for 30 years and has seen co-workers, friends and members of her church struggle with breast cancer. After losing a close friend to breast cancer, Taylor realized the disease can strike anyone regardless of their social status, family history or health. As a board member, her hope is to raise awareness and research funding.

NOTICE THAT EACH of these new board members has either a direct connection to the cause, direct experience supporting the cause, or both. If you’re wondering how you can join a local nonprofit board, connecting with the cause on a personal level is a great first step.