Class of COVID-19: College, Money, and a Global Pandemic – Next100
Event   COVID-19

Class of COVID-19: College, Money, and a Global Pandemic

The government and universities must implement equitable policies that provide adequate relief funding and programming that address the unique needs of college students.

The livestream below will begin at the time of the event.

College students around the nation are being uniquely affected by COVID-19. The global pandemic has halted many students’ ability to meet basic needs, find employment, and pay off student debt. Though the government has created financial relief funds for many Americans, college students are often left out of programs like the stimulus check or unemployment insurance, leaving them on their own to support themselves. The government and universities must implement equitable policies that provide adequate relief funding and programming that address the unique needs of college students.

Join us on Thursday, July 16, 2:00–2:45 PM EST as we discuss the economic hardships college students are facing during this unprecedented pandemic.

Please register to obtain the Zoom link.


  • Moderator: Ponny White, summer scholar, The Century Foundation
  • Hannah Mulroe, co-president, Trojan Shelter/S4S
  • Jemere Calhoun, program manager, Rise, Inc.
  • Niya Ray, summer scholar, The Century Foundation
  • Roquel Crutcher, policy entrepreneur, Next100

Presented by The Century Foundation, Next100, and Rise, Inc.

Speaker Bios

Ponny White is a recent graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), where she double-majored in political science and multimedia journalism with an emphasis in women’s and gender studies. As the president of the MSUM Black Student Union, she organized the first inclusive, comprehensive sex-education curriculum. Ponny is also a reproductive health policy advocate with Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood. She launched an emergency contraception campaign, which allocated free Plan B pills for students and community members, for which she earned Planned Parenthood’s Advocate on the Move award. She currently sits on a governor-appointed cabinet dedicated to proposing and implementing policies that aid women and girls throughout the state of Minnesota. When she isn’t working, she enjoys writing poetry and getting lost in her favorite neo-soul playlist. At TCF, Ponny will be working as a women’s economic justice summer scholar.

Hannah Mulroe is one of the co-presidents for Trojan Shelter. She is a rising senior at the University of Southern California and majors in industrial and systems engineering with a minor in nonprofits, philanthropy, and volunteerism. Hannah is from Arlington Heights, Illinois. Growing up, she spent a lot of time at the homeless shelter her father works at. She cares deeply about the issue of homelessness and especially how it uniquely affects college students. Hannah holds Trojan Shelter near and dear to her heart and is excited to continue its growth in resources and advocacy as the organization matures. In her free time, Hannah loves to go for runs, hammock with her friends, and take the metro to a new Los Angeles destination.

Jemere Calhoun is a LA2050 Organizing Manager and a Psychology and African American Studies Dual Major at Los Angeles City College. As the current Associated Student Government President, Jemere spends most of his time advocating for students and promoting initiatives that will positively affect them. Looking forward to transferring to Cal State Long Beach in Spring of 2020, Jemere wants to leave a lasting meaningful and measurable change and uplift to the community of LACC. In 2005, as an employee of a non-profit property management company located in the Skid Row area of Downtown Los Angeles, he recognized the need for advocacy for housing, food insecurity and for the rights of all disenfranchised and marginalized people. This led him to become an outspoken member of the Los Angeles organizing committee, a big part of the Fight for 15, which was a nationwide campaign to increase the minimum wage and advocate for the rights of retail and fast-food service employees.

Niya Ray is a rising senior at Spelman College, where she is pursuing her BA in political science. During her time at Spelman, she has worked as a development and communications intern at the Georgia Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to exonerate individuals through the use of DNA evidence. She has also spent time as an associate in the Spelman College Social Justice Program; advocated for voting rights, including being featured in the documentary ​Suppressed: The Fight to Vote;​ and most recently worked as a policy intern in the office of Pennsylvania State Senator Tim Kearney, where she researched and crafted policy recommendations on the placement of opioid treatment centers. Her writing has been published in the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers publication ​The Champion​. At TCF, Niya will be working with the higher education policy team as a summer scholar.

Roquel Crutcher is a policy entrepreneur at Next100 and an advocate and activist for social justice and educational equity. At Next100, Roquel focuses on increasing educational opportunities and postsecondary outcomes for young people in marginalized communities. Roquel has worked at several educational nonprofits, including Teach for America and the KIPP Foundation, using both platforms to advocate for educational equity. Roquel was selected for New Profit’s Millennial Impact Fellowship, NAACP’s Next Generation Fellowship, and a 2018 Aspen Ideas Fellowship. As an alumna of KIPP Memphis, Roquel was selected as an inaugural KIPP Accelerator Fellow. Roquel graduated from American University in 2016 with a BA in communications, legal studies, economics, and government, as well as a certificate in politics, policy, and law.