The Monsignor McCann Community Fund (MMCF), which plans to give out roughly $50,000 worth of grants each year, recently announced its spring recipients and the Newton DMACC received $3,000 to assist students who may need mental health services.
The sale of McCann Village in 2019 led to the creation of the MMCF. After an inaugural donation of $25,000 to the Newton Salvation Army last year the spring announcement of grants has been its first round.
“This is kind of our first round. We decided in 2020 that we are going to have two rounds,” MMCF Board president Mark Thayer said.
For this round of grants the MMCF decided to give out grants to three local organizations and
included in them was the Newton DMACC. The Newton DMACC received $3,000 to help students who may be needing mental health services.
“DMACC is going to use that money for mental health counseling that will positively effect up to six students. That is very enjoyable as board members everyone of us has worked long hours seeing this process through,” Thayer said.
The Newton DMACC already provides counseling services to students inside the walls as well as outside them. Counselor Kara Dirksen, who is a trained social worker, said the Newton DMACC provides students a way for three sessions outside of Newton DMACC.
“Well, three sessions with a therapist isn’t really going to get you anywhere if you were really trying to dive into some of your mental health needs,” Dirksen said.
The idea behind applying for the grant Dirksen said was to help pay for more sessions, ideally six to eight, for roughly six students. Newton DMACC Provost Dr. Joe Dehart said that it is good for students well being but also a retention tool as well.
“We are trying to identify those folks that if they got help early on it would keep them engaged in school,” Dehart said.
One of the things Dirkens said was that it can sometimes be difficult for students to get mental health services due to the cost. The money received from the MMCF will help assist those students who need the help with attaining mental health services.
“Being able to see some of these live change, and for the better, and being able to see firsthand through them coming in and them being present in class again, and working through some of those things. I think it is just going to be such a blessing,” Dirkens said.
The community support Dehart said is important in showing that the community is willing to come alongside Newton DMACC and it students. Dehart said it also shows that the community understands the importance of education.
“That is a blessing to our students and to our campus and a sign that we are doing some good things that people recognize,” Dehart said.
With the first round of grants already being announced and a second round to come in the fall Thayer said organizations are encouraged to apply. If someone would like to apply they can visit www.mmcfund.org. to learn more an apply.
“First and foremost we want to make sure that the money, if we are going to award funds, that it is going to be beneficial to the community of Newton and primarily its most at-risk population,” Thayer said.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org