CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Del Mar College student Naomi Alexander had no idea what the future held as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. All around her, friends were losing jobs and their sources of income.
She was scared that she would be next.
"I didn't know how I was going to pay for (school)," Alexander said.
Alexander was working at Cavender's Boot City when the novel coronavirus first hit the Coastal Bend.
While she kept her job, her hours were reduced. That meant less money to help pay for school, she said.
It's students like these that Del Mar College is helping with its annual fundraiser, Stringers for Scholarships.
"This year we are calling Stringers for Scholarships: The One That Got Away," said Del Mar College Foundation Director of Development Matthew Busby. "Our one goal is to raise money, and all of that money goes to support Del Mar College students in the form of scholarships."
In previous years, Stringers for Scholarships was a fishing tournament. People from throughout the Coastal Bend participated, raising funds for the scholarship. While there isn't a tournament this year, it hasn't stopped people from donating, Busby said.
"Folks are still sponsoring the event and we are still raising money," he said.
One of those sponsors is AEP Texas. For Julio Reyes, the company's vice president of internal affairs, he said it's all about the cause.
"Education is a priority, not just here in the Coastal Bend, but for all of Texas," he said. "We are proud to be a part of this program."
In the time of COVID-19, more students are in need than in years past, evident in the number of Del Mar students who have applied for the scholarships.
"Nearly 800 more students applied this year than last," he said. "That is a 30 percent increase."
Thanks to the Coastal Bend community's generosity, Alexander will get the opportunity she needs to succeed in school.
"Knowing that I had some help from someone that didn't even know me was great," she said.
For those who are interested in helping students during this difficult time you can donate here.