The Academic Mutual Aid Foundation (AMAF) serves as a socialized version of an emergency fund for undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars around the country. Their mission is to empower students and student employees through financial and social resources that allow them to weather the regular financial and personal stresses without compromising their academic goals.
Students, postdocs, and other academic employees subsist on wages that cannot support the student debt they often bear or their stage in life. While it's impossible for anyone in this position to save up six months' wages -- the typical advice -- it's feasible for hundreds of others to fund a collective backstop from which students and postdocs can all draw when they need it. If a student is about to miss rent, or needs car repairs or a new laptop charger, then we can make a grant to cover that unexpected expense. Additionally, the hope of the AMAF is that those who are helped by this organization, who might later enjoy successful and good-paying jobs, would be inclined to give back.