Education Matters: Continuing studies with the ‘Welcome Home Initiative’


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Many local students went off to college last fall only to have their education upended when COVID-19 hit in the Spring.

But a new program at Fresno State means those students can continue their education at home

Fresno State is not where Trevor Widger thought he would be this fall. The Illinois transplant attended Reedley Community College and then transferred to the University of Illinois at Chicago as a junior. In the Spring, COVID-19 hit and upended his college career.

“All of a sudden my living situation is completely thrown out, housing, etcetera,” said Widger. “And I look around this giant city and everything is in chaos.”

Trevor decided to return to the Central Valley and, through a contact at Fresno State, the communications major learned of the ‘Welcome Home Initiative.’

“I was told of this Welcome Home Initiative which was literally created for students in my situation whose lives were turned into turmoil with everything that is going on right now.”

The ‘Welcome Home Initiative’ came out of conversations President Joseph Castro was having with parents and students who had returned home because of the pandemic.

“This initiative is designed to support students who live in the four-county area around Fresno State who might be enrolled in another university outside the area but want to come home,” said Castro.

About 40 students were able to enroll at Fresno State through the program. After meeting the requirements, they were allowed to apply late for the Fall Semester.

It was the right decision for Trevor, who says he can’t believe the support he’s received.

“People and the resources I’ve been provided since just moving back I mean it’s just really incredible.”

Fresno State is extending the program into the Spring Semester. Interested students will be encouraged to attend a webinar and talk to a counselor: they have until Sep. 30 to apply.

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