November 2022 Newsletter


Hey, Highlanders! We have just 11 days left of classes. Wild, right? As 2022 wraps up and the next semester approaches, we wanted to focus this newsletter on financial wellbeing. The holidays can be stressful, so we want to make sure you’re aware of the resources available to you!

Spotlight: On-Campus Resource

Did you know that there are a variety of scholarships available to MCC students? The Foundation offers approximately 400 scholarships each year to students through a variety of programs like Presidential Scholars or First Gen Scholars.  Learn more . Applications are open until January 15.

The Foundation also offers a few emergency grants to cover unexpected events or circumstances, such as loss of job, car repairs, unforeseen medical expenses, etc.  Emergency grants do not cover any type of school expenses, fees, or outstanding balances related to school.  For more information or to apply, head over to  the Foundation webpage .

ALSO, Academic Support & Tutoring offered a scholarship essay workshop yesterday, so you can reach out to  for more information about future workshops.

Spotlight: Off-Campus Resource

There are countless excellent scholarship options available from off-campus resources too! Here are a few we curated:

  • Texas Workforce Commission: grants are available for students in eligible programs at MCC.  Read more.
  • Brazos Education Foundation: every month, a $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a different recipient (graduating high school senior, current college student, current graduate student).  Read more.
  • Greater Waco Chamber: residents of McLennan County might be eligible for certain scholarships.  Read more.
  • Consider checking out your high school’s scholarship offerings, especially if you’re a dual credit student and still enrolled in high school!
  • Scroll through some national scholarship databases as well, like or

Also, reach out to the financial aid office at MCC! They’d be delighted to help you explore options. 

Bonus tip: take time over break to apply for scholarships. You never know what might pan out!


HUGE shoutout to Enrollment Services for donating SO MUCH FOOD to Paulanne’s Pantry! We’re so grateful for the ways everyone on campus helps meet the needs of students, especially with the holidays approaching. Be sure to grab some food from the fully stocked shelves!



Self-Care Tip

Have you heard of financial self-care? It sounds like a strange concept, but it’s really important for everyone–especially college students paying for school.  Financial self-care involves coming up with concrete plans and goals for your financial future, investing energy into managing your money situation now, and developing a healthy mindset around money.

Financial stress is related to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. So if you can learn to care for your finances, your experience as a student might improve!

Here are some tips for practicing financial self-care:

  • set realistic financial goals
  • create a reasonable, maintainable budget – there are lots of great budgeters on Instagram that offer loads of helpful tips and sample budgets
  • track your spending (which includes regularly checking your bank account) – I have a weekly budget check-in appt on my calendar on Sunday at 7pm
  • cancel recurring charges for things you’re not using
  • journal to connect your financial goals to your current habits
  • take advantage of free money (scholarships, employer matching programs)
  • save an emergency fund (3-6 months worth of expenses)
  • automate your savings – consider having 10% of your paycheck automatically moved to a savings account so you don’t have to think about it and aren’t tempted to spend it
  • consider storing your savings–or college money–in another account (out of sight, out of mind)
  • don’t deprive yourself of little pleasures completely – budget some fun money each month for coffee or a movie or whatever you enjoy
  • if you have a significant other, make sure you’re both on the same page about budgeting and spending. It might take time, but this is necessary for achieving financial peace.

Feel free to reach out to anyone in the financial aid office to get started with financial advising specifically for college students.

(References:  Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 )

Easy Recipe

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so here’s a casserole you can bring! It’s not necessarily the most traditional side dish, but I’m excited to make this for my family next week. It’s nice to switch things up once in a while!  Scroll this article  for other Thanksgiving dish ideas if this casserole isn’t your favorite..

Otherwise, you should be able to get most items for this dish from Paulanne’s for free or your local grocery store for less than $10. Need any ingredients (including those lentils)? Swing by Paulanne’s for some non-perishable goods, frozen meat, fresh fruit, cheese, and/or milk!

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Prep Time:  10 mins
Cook Time:  40 mins
Total Time:  50 mins
Servings:  6


  • 1 lb. frozen broccoli florets
  • 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 yellow onion 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp butter 
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (2% milk fat or higher) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/8 tsp Freshly cracked black pepper 


  1. Thaw the frozen broccoli, then chop it into smaller pieces. Add the chopped broccoli to a large bowl along with the cooked rice and about 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese (save the last ½ cup for topping the casserole).
  2. Begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  3. Add the butter, onion, and garlic to a small saucepot and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent (2-3 minutes). Add the flour and stir until a paste forms. Continue to stir and cook the paste for about two minutes, or just until it turns a light golden brown.
  4. Whisk the milk into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk the mixture as it heats, allowing it to reach a simmer, at which point it will thicken to the consistency of heavy cream. Remove the sauce from the heat.
  5. Season the sauce with the salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, and pepper. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if desired. The sauce should be heavily seasoned because it will be spread out over the broccoli and rice, which contain no seasoning of their own.
  6. Pour the sauce over the rice, broccoli, and cheese, and stir until everything is evenly coated in sauce. Spread the casserole mixture evenly into a 9x9 inch casserole dish. Top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
  7. Bake the casserole for about 35 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and is slightly browned around the edges. Divide into six portions and serve.

NUTRITION  (per 1 serving)

Calories: 437.58kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.1g | Protein: 17.25g | Fat: 21.82g | Sodium: 569.2mg | Fiber: 3.28g


Shepherd’s Heart:  One distribution that served 168 families in McLennan County (27 new households this month!)

Paulanne’s Pantry:  51 Highlanders visited Paulanne’s in October

Waco Transit:  1,580 rides on Waco Transit using the free MCC student fare cards

CREW This Month

Thursday, 11/17, 11–1 @ SLC || Third Thursday Thoroughfare

Come for free lunch and learn about resources in McLennan County just for college students!

Saturday, 11/19, 11-2 @ McLane Stadium || Food Drive

If you find yourself at the Baylor football game, consider donating money or nonperishable goods to Shepherd’s Heart (in partnership with Robert Griffin III).

Monday, 11/21, 1-5; Tuesday 11/22, 9-5 @ SSC 249 || Thanksgiving Gift Cards

We have approximately 200 HEB gift cards to distribute on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bring your MCC ID to claim.

Wednesday, 11/30, 9 –1 @ the quad || Destress Fest

Come to the lawn outside the SLC for destressing activities. The CREW will be there with end-of-semester resources and a meditative activity.

Thursday, 12/8, 3–4 pm @ Lot R || Shepherd’s Heart Food Distribution 

Swing by Lot R for FREE food from Shepherd’s Heart! Free and open to anyone in the community!

Dates TBD || Winter Clothing Collection

Watch your email for details about an upcoming drive to collect winter gear and then opportunities to pick up items to keep warm.


More events are available on the  CREW calendar ! Be sure to save the calendar so you never miss an event!

View past newsletters here:

*Composed by Emma Cartisano*