MECC to Provide Internet, Access to Laptops for Former Foster Youth


MECC’s Great Expectations program was awarded a $29,500 grant to provide personal computers and internet access for former foster youth enrolled in classes the 2020-2021 academic year.

Great Expectations is an initiative of the Virginia Community College System dedicated to reducing barriers to postsecondary education for former foster youth and helping them transition successfully into living independently. With the emergence of COVID-19 and the move to primarily online instruction last spring, many Great Expectations students have experienced an increased need for reliable internet access and an up-to-date personal computer or laptop.  

This grant, which was made possible through the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, is intended to alleviate financial strain on Great Expectations students and enable them to remain enrolled. Funds will be provided to purchase 20 new laptops that Great Expectations students can borrow to complete their coursework virtually. The grant will also allow Great Expectations to provide free internet access for students two months each semester.

Great Expectations will pay for one month of internet service for each enrolled Great Expectations student at the beginning of the semester, and one month of internet service after the withdraw date. Students can submit their internet bills to the GE Coach at the start of the semester.

“In these challenging times, any additional support we can offer Great Expectations students could be a tipping point towards a successful semester for them. This funding will provide invaluable access to resources that these students need. We are so grateful for the generous support from the VFCCE,” said Kari Paschetto, MECC’s Great Expectations Coach.

For more information about Great Expectations at MECC, contact Kari Paschetto, Great Expectations and Student Activities Coordinator, at or 276-523-2400 ext. 422.