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NVU Grad Students Create Connections in Time of COVID-19

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A group of graduate students at Northern Vermont University (NVU) was in the midst of investigating rural poverty in Vermont for a class advocacy project when COVID-19 began spreading throughout the state, drastically "changing the world as we knew it." As a result of the pandemic, the group decided to shift its focus to something they felt was more socially relevant right now: promoting the mental well-being of Vermonters. To help accomplish this mission, they have created a website, Virtual e-Vermonter.    

Their goal for the site is to help Vermonters create social connections from home in order to be strong as individuals, as well as socially engaged and united as a community. Visitors to the site will find a Blog full of fun, creative, and inspiring activities; a calendar where music events, workshops, and classes can be accessed; links to resources for support; and a forum to share stay-at-home stories and tips.

The group shared, "One of the most important elements of well-being and health is connections, to community, resources, humans, and to art. During this time when we are told to be distant, it is our hope that Vermonters will maintain safe physical distance while remaining socially connected and inspired. Please visit and share this community site."

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Rural Entrepreneurship

So how will improving the connections between creative people, innovative ideas, and the tools they need to start a business help our state recover from the pandemic? We connected with Chelsea Bardot Lewis, senior philanthropic advisor on our Grants & Community Investments team, to learn more. In her work with our Vermont Investment Pool, Chelsea is in consistent communication with small business owners and capital providers, giving her strong insights into challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Read more about "The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Rural Entrepreneurship "