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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

K-State Proud Week: ‘You don’t have to have extreme connections or wealth to make an impact’

K-State Proud is collecting donations on campus to raise money for students in financial need
Juniors+Abby+Collins+and+Abigail+Marshall+greet+Wildcat+fans+at+the+K-State+Proud+table.+K-State+Proud+is+led+by+the+K-State+Student+Foundation+and+raises+money+to+help+students+continue+their+education.+
Sarah Anliker
Juniors Abby Collins and Abigail Marshall greet Wildcat fans at the K-State Proud table. K-State Proud is led by the K-State Student Foundation and raises money to help students continue their education.

Since K-State Proud’s founding in 2007, the student-led philanthropy organization has raised over $2 million to support students in financial need. For this year’s Proud Week, from Feb. 26 to March 1, students work hard to campaign, fundraise and spread awareness of the program.

Peyton Weixelman, senior in business and president of the Student Foundation, said that K-State Proud’s goal is to educate students on philanthropy and empower them to make an impact at Kansas State.

“We are the largest run student philanthropy on campus, and over the course of our 17 year history, we’ve raised over $2 million,” Weixelman said. “So every year, we have students create our logo that eventually will go on our T-shirts and sweatshirts.”

Students representing K-State Proud are hard at work all week, collecting donations on campus, giving out Proud shirts to anyone who donates $25 or more and giving out shirts to people who have already donated.

“Every dollar raised through donations for those T-shirts and sweatshirts goes to our Student Opportunity Award, which ultimately goes to people who are experiencing financial distress,” Weixelman said. “Like if they’ve exhausted all of their options for a hospital bill, a monthly rent payment or they missed one-time expenses that are just kind of hard to get the money for.”

Anyone can make donations year-round to the Student Opportunity Award through the K-State University Foundation; Proud Week simply serves as an in-person campaign.

One of K-State Proud’s events this semester included campaigning at the home men’s and women’s basketball games.

“We weren’t allowed to have folks donate for T-shirts just because of some athletics regulations, so we were just tabling at a game and spreading awareness, not just for students, but in the hopes that, you know, alumni and maybe recent alumni would donate to our case, a Proud campaign,” Weixelman said. “Every year we’ve done a Proud game for both men’s and women’s basketball. We’ve done it for volleyball, soccer, so just trying to put our name out there as much as we can to help spread the word about the good cause that we’re working towards every year.”

The Student Opportunity Award is available to students throughout the school year, primarily for students whose attendance at K-State is threatened because of their financial need. The KSU Foundation and the Office of Student Financial Assistance monitor and award submissions year-round.

“It’s opened my eyes … to understand that you don’t have to have extreme connections or wealth to make an impact,” Weixelman said. “You can be a normal student on campus and create a difference for one of your peers. I think that’s been the biggest thing that I’ve learned and just understanding that small efforts each and every day and throughout the year add up over time. Ultimately, you want everybody’s K-State experience to be the best. … It’s opened my eyes to making K-State a great place for everybody, not just myself, and getting the most out of my experience.”

Anyone looking to donate, get involved with K-State Proud or apply for financial need can find more information at ksufoundation.org.

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Kaitlynn Faber, arts & culture editor
A&C editor for spring 2024. Previously asst. A&C editor for fall 2023 and writer for 2022-23.
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