Joe Wyatt
Published October 14, 2020

The No Excuses Fund, which serves as a safety net for Amarillo College students whose academic attainments become endangered by life barriers, received a generous boost on Oct. 14 from the Atmos Energy Corporation.


The natural gas provider made a $20,000 gift to the College, funds to be administered by the AC Foundation and distributed through AC’s Advocacy and Resource Center (ARC).


Jordan Herrera, AC’s director of social services, says half of the gift will be used to assist students who are struggling with utility bills, while the other half will go to bolster the ARC’s Food Pantry Fund.


“This gift from Atmos Energy will make a big difference in the lives of our students,” Herrera said. “Atmos undoubtedly recognizes that economic hardship is a huge barrier to academic success, and we are truly grateful for their generosity.”


What makes the No Excuses Fund so effective is its immediacy. Financial emergencies that pose a threat to student success are dealt with swiftly, in time to make a difference.


Michael Gonzales, pubic affairs manager for Atmos Energy, said the gift is made possible through the corporation’s Fueling Safe & Thriving Communities initiative, through which Atmos partners with non-profits to help strengthen communities and combat food insecurity.


“This is something we’re very happy to be able to do,” Gonzales said, “especially during these uncertain times. A lot of families are struggling right now, and no one deserves to go hungry or have to worry about their utility bills when they are trying to concentrate on their work or studies.


“Atmos Energy has donated these funds to help keep our students warm this winter and so that our community can continue to thrive.”