Baylor student government launches student initiative

Katy senior Amye Dickerson, former student body president, worked with Arlington junior Grant Wilkie to develop the Student Care & Wellness Fund, which was announced Monday. Lariat File Photo

by Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer

Katy senior Amye Dickerson, former Baylor student body president, established a Student Care & Wellness Fund available for all students last week. The fund will help cover out-of-pocket expenses that students might face, such as the cost of medical care, emergency plane tickets or replacing locks after a break-in. Dickerson said the student-led philanthropic fund will demonstrate the Baylor family’s commitment to its students, and she is thrilled to be a part of it.

“Months of planning and research have gone into this initiative, and we are excited to launch the fundraising efforts these last few weeks,” Dickerson said.

The fund will help students with medical expenses and expenses that require out-of-pocket payment, and it is designed to help them worry less about these expenses while attending Baylor.

Dickerson said in a press release that the Student Care & Wellness Fund is seeking fundraising from fellow members of the Baylor community.

“The SCWF [Student Care & Wellness Fund] was created for students by students with the goal of creating a philanthropic venture in which the entire Baylor community can take part,” Dickerson said. “While the current goal is to create an operational budget for the fund to be accessible to students for the upcoming school year, we are looking ahead to the future in order for this initiative to be sustainable for future generations of Bears.”

Arlington junior Grant Wilkie, director of student government policy, has been engaged in every aspect of the creation of the Student Care & Wellness Fund.

Wilkie said he worked alongside Dickerson to come up with the idea for Student Care & Wellness Fund earlier this year.

“Early in the fall of this school year, Amye and I had been conversing about ideas for a substantial piece of policy that we could undertake throughout the year. Eventually, the conversation came to focus on one main mantra: students helping students,” Wilkie said. “We researched practical ways that we could integrate this idea into our initiative and eventually arrived at a ride-share program that would allow for students of all means to access healthcare providers through financial reimbursement.”

Wilkie said the opportunity to work with Dickerson and working on the fund itself have given him an irreplaceable experience.

“The groundwork towards the establishment of the Student Care & Wellness Fund has been, far and away, the most enriching experience I have thus far experienced in my college career,” Wilkie said. “Working under Amye’s leadership, fully capable and kind, has left me with lessons that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

According to the press release, the Student Care & Wellness Fund team is excited to invest in this initiative and to give students an opportunity to not worry about health and out-of-pocket expenses.

Wilkie said the fund aims to meet the practical needs of students that will allow them to flourish both personally and in the classroom.

Both Dickerson and Wilkie said that the hard work put into the creation of the fund wasn’t for themselves, but rather for the Baylor student body.

“The simple act of students helping students in real and tangible ways serves to, as Baylor’s mission itself proclaims, prepare students for worldwide leadership and service and helps us live out the cherished Christian commitment within the caring community of our beloved University,” Wilkie said. “Acts 2:42-47 gives us a beautiful picture of what that Christian community looks like. It tells of a group of believers and friends who we’re selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.’”

Baylor is known for its resources such as the Title IX office and counseling center in the McLane Student Life Center, and Dickerson said she is excited to add to Baylor’s resources.

Wilkie said he wants this initiative to be known as a resource made by students, for students and not for his reputation.

“The Student Care and Wellness Fund has never been about leaving a legacy; rather, we seek to make an difference,” Wilkie said.

The application for funds will be available in June, and the current fundraising goal is $50,000.