Thousands of California Community College students struggled to stay in school when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. To help keep them enrolled, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges worked together to create the First Response Fund, a relief fund that provided emergency cash assistance to nursing students at more than 70 California community colleges. The emergency grants helped students pay for rent, insurance, licensing exams and other urgent costs to help them stay in school so they can finish their degrees and certificates and join the workforce.