Fall Conversation Series – Dear Ram Family

As a fellow Ram family member, all I can say is “whew, we’re almost through the semester!”  This fall semester of 2020 was clearly unprecedented and our students, and we family members, buckled our seatbelts for the rough ride. As a CSU parent, I know first-hand how emotional the journey has been in the past six plus months as we wrestled with decisions regarding our families’ health, financial pressures, and education path for our students.  I’m reaching out now that the first semester is nearing its end to check in with you and offer support as you reflect on your families’ perseverance and commitment to your student’s education during the worldwide pandemic.

I’d also like to let you know that there is an amazing network of folks here at Colorado State that are standing ready to further support you as you continue to navigate the turbulent water of college during COVID.  That organization is the CSU Parent and Family Programs staff.  I am honored to serve on the all-volunteer CSU Parent and Family Board, whose whole mission is to provide a peer-to-peer network for fellow parent and family members.  We share in your journey and know first-hand that Parent and Family Programs stands ready to support you by putting you in touch with the right people if they can’t themselves answer your questions or simply steer you in the right direction when you need a hand.  We are in this together—and even though social distancing is the landmark of navigating COVID-19, it doesn’t mean we can’t lean on each other (virtually of course!) Reach out to them directly, join the Facebook Group (Colorado State University Parents & Families), sign-up to receive their informative emails (go to parentsandfamily.colostate.edu, scroll to the bottom, click on “subscribe” and complete the process), and meet the amazing staff. I deeply hope you use this resource specifically created for us family members, especially now as we reflect on the fall semester and make plans for 2021. Please feel free to contact a member of CSU’s Parent and Family Programs directly through the email address below if you have any questions as you navigate college life during COVID.

Another way that CSU supports fellow families’ students, especially now during the pandemic, is through the established Parents Fund which was created to help meet the most basic needs of our CSU students, including their education and experience on campus.  While the amazing Rams Against Hunger program helps fill the gap for those experiencing hunger, the Parents Fund helps fill the gap to provide programmatic support for CSU students when it’s needed.  Our campus is full of programs and services created for students to be just as successful outside of the classroom as they are inside. The Parents Fund allows us to enhance and uplift these programs as the need arises.  Examples of Parents Fund supported efforts include virtual Career Center programming for students who are getting close to graduation, marketing materials to raise student awareness regarding on and off campus job opportunities, programming to support students to connect with faith and/or belief organizations, hazing prevention education, marketing materials support for the Bias Incident Reporting system, and the list goes on.

If you find that you are in a position to support fellow Rams during these ever-changing times, please consider financially supporting the Parents Fund, and if you have a student in particular need right now, reach out to get support there too.  That’s what we do, we support each other.  Thank you for your generosity to our fellow Rams who may need it more now than ever.  Donations can be made here:  https://advancing.colostate.edu/PARENTS.

As we look forward to a new year with new possibilities, I wish you all a healthy and happy 2021.

Go Rams!

Kelli Kast-Brown