DAVIS, Calif. — The University of California, Davis is persuading students to stay in town for spring break by paying them.
The school gave select students $75 grants to encourage them to stay in Davis and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cody Williams, a graduate student at UC Davis, is one of 2,000 people who received the stay-cation gift cards.
What You Need To Know
- UC Davis gave select students $75 grants to encourage them to stay in Davis and prevent the spread of COVID-19 this spring break
- Out of 3,000 applicants, 2,000 students received the spring break grants
- The stay-cation gift cards can be used at local businesses in Davis
- The grant program was funded by Healthy Davis Together, an initiative to protect the community from coronavirus
“I think it was a great idea, so I applied right away and I got it,” he said.
During the pandemic, Williams picked up a new hobby and started making neon signs. He decided to use his $75 spring break grant to buy new art supplies to complete his projects.
“I got interested in it and, a few months later, purchased the equipment to do it, and I’ve just been kind of learning ever since,” said Williams.
The university urged students to stay in town during this spring break to reduce COVID-19 cases in the area. Healthy Davis Together, an initiative to protect the community from coronavirus, funded the grant program.
“Now more than ever as we are looking towards the sunset of the pandemic it’s important to stay in town,” Williams added.
The $75 gift card can be used at select businesses in Davis. Williams spent his money at a local art shop in town. He usually spends spring break visiting his family in Portland, but said by staying in Davis this year, he’s been able to get better at making neon signs.
“It’s been great, I’ve broken a lot of glass, cut myself and burnt myself, but through all that I’ve been seeing some progress and really enjoying an artistic outlet,” Williams said.
UC Davis also gave out similar grants during Halloween. However, this time around, the university received an overwhelming response from students with more than 3,000 applicants.
“This is just another example of them being actively involved in the process of fighting the pandemic,” Williams added.
The graduate student said he is glad he can do his small part to stay in Davis and enjoy his new quarantine hobby, while also protecting his college community.