Two students work to raise awareness about homeless college kids

Yara Mowafy (left) and Jordan Bivings on campus at George Mason University. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON — In one of the richest counties in the country, it might be surprising that some local college students are homeless and go without food.

Two seniors at George Mason University in Fairfax are raising awareness and raising funds to help these students who often go under the radar in part because of the stigma attached to being homeless. That stigma might be the reason why it’s hard to determine exactly how many such students are in need.

Yara Mowafy and Jordan Bivings are both seniors at George Mason. The two were working on different class projects when their worlds collided after finding out about the hungry and homeless population at the school.

They were surprised to find out about a population of students in need and they wanted to help.

“It’s been quite a struggle to raise awareness and get the word out just because it’s very unexpected for Mason, being such a big university and a growing one, to have a homeless population,” Mowafy says.

The two created the “Student Meal Assistance Fund” on campus which is run on donations. They’re happy to finally get it off the ground after 18 months. Mowafy says she is happy that awareness of the problem is finally getting out there.

She says some of these homeless students are working full time and going to school and after paying tuition there are no funds left for food or for a roof over their heads.

Now the two are hoping to help these students even more.

“The next step is to actually get housing for them.”

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