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Sarnaik Challenge seeks to raise $200,000 for Wayne State’s HIGH Program

February 20, 2017


Dr. Sharada Sarnaik and Dr. Ashok P. Sarnaik have issued the Sarnaik Challenge to build the Sarnaik Endowment Fund for the HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher) Program at Wayne State University. The couple will match every gift made to the fund, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000. This challenge will create an endowment for the HIGH Program valued at $200,000, providing ongoing funding to support students facing homelessness.

The Sarnaiks established the Sarnaik Endowment Fund to express gratitude for the educational, professional and personal opportunities they have received, and to provide similar opportunities for others. Both are pediatricians at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and faculty members in Wayne State’s School of Medicine.

“Many bright minds seeking higher education to better themselves run into temporary road blocks that may prevent them from realizing their dreams,” said the Sarnaiks in a joint statement. “The Sarnaik Endowment is intended to support these individuals during the times of their greatest needs, helping them reach greater heights.”

Wayne State’s First Lady Jacqueline Wilson founded the HIGH Program in 2013 to provide support for students experiencing homelessness or precarious housing situations. Reports indicate student homelessness is a nationwide issue, and Wilson’s program offers a strategic response to this issue at Wayne State.

“The HIGH Program is successful because of the generosity of our donors,” said Mrs. Wilson. “The Sarnaik Challenge will inspire members of our community to rise to the occasion and help students.”

Students in the HIGH Program receive short-term, emergency assistance with the goal of long-term stability and degree completion. Since its inception, the HIGH Program has offered assistance to more than 130 students with direct support or referral to alternative funding sources.

To participate in the Sarnaik Challenge, contact Mary Barden, Director of Philanthropy for the HIGH Program, at 313-577-1664 or m.barden@wayne.edu.

About the HIGH Program

The HIGH Program was founded in 2013 to address student homelessness at Wayne State University. The vision of the HIGH Program is a university community where no student must choose between higher education and survival. The mission of the program is to support students who struggle to balance their Wayne State University studies with meeting life’s most basic needs of food, shelter and childcare. Learn more at highprogram.wayne.edu.