For students coming from difficult financial circumstances, it does not take a great disturbance to disrupt the tenuous balance that keeps a roof overheard, basic health and well-being needs met, and tuition paid. In my first full semester serving as the Episcopal Campus Missioner at the University of Houston, I encountered two students, both first generation college students from difficult financial circumstances, who ended up bouncing out of the UH system back to HCC because of family crises. A parental health crisis, a poorly-timed breakdown of the family vehicle – these are the sorts of events that can derail a student’s educational process. Sometimes, a one-time modest grant, quickly-administered can make a considerable difference in a time of adversity.

This summer, Houston Canterbury became a referral provider for At Risk Youth (ARY). At Risk Youth is an organization founded by members of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, which provides one-time emergency grant assistance to students in need. ARY is unique in its fast turnaround for grant applications, and this responsiveness is an added blessing for those it serves. As a referral provider, Houston Canterbury will ensure that an emergency grant application is always a part of a more comprehensive on-going pastoral response. This new partnership will help Houston Canterbury to serve as an additional resource to students facing financial challenges.

For more information about the grants or if you would like to donate to At Risk Youth, contact The Rev. Eileen O’Brien ( This is a no-overhead program, and every penny goes to providing much needed financial assistance.