Hello! I have so many great things to share with everyone.
First, in regards to school. This past semester (Fall 2015) I earned a 3.9 GPA. My best semester at Pitt.
I also held a job at Pitt's Newspaper as a Staff Photographer and just recently was promoted to Visual Editor!
Other than school I have a very fun, exciting update!
Today I officially launched my photography project called the I Am ___ Project/I Am Project.
Over a year ago, I had this idea for a project. In the summer, the I am ___ Project began and now it is ready for release.
My initial love of photography and art was always geared toward photos that told a story, that had something important to say.
Welcome to the world of these seven amazing individuals.
"The mission of the “I am ____” Project is to open a window into the lives of trans individuals in order to promote awareness, education, and compassion through the medium of photography. Photography has often been used as a tool for education and awareness. While debates in politics and social matters don’t always change hearts or encourage the “other side” to reconsider their position, art can sometimes transcend those beliefs and bring about a new understanding. This project is my attempt to bridge the gap and open more hearts to transgender individuals.
The project is ongoing and I would love to continue expanding upon it. If you would like information about participating in the project or sponsoring the project to travel to more cities please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Hi everyone! It's been a while so I thought I'd update.
I finished my first semester back at Pitt better than I expected! My GPA was a 3.857 and as a result I made Dean's List again.
The semester back at Pitt was incredible. I felt challenged academically and I loved every minute in the classroom. I worked hard, learned a lot, and managed to schedule in some fun too. :)
This summer I've been working cleaning again, am working on a start up, and am getting my own business up and running.
Financially it has been as difficult as always. I've been going back and forth with Pennsylvania to be seen as Independent like Pitt now views me. I'm waiting to hear back and hoping that it's good news. Pitt has yet to release financial information yet so I'm waiting anxiously to hear if this year will be a struggle like last year. It doesn't look promising, but I'm hopeful.
Today is an incredible day for the rights of those within the LGBT community. When I was younger and still in the closet and figuring myself out, I hoped to see this day and I'm so overjoyed that it came at last. While this is a huge and wonderful step in the right direction, it is not the last one. We must keep working toward equality.
Many LGBT Youths/Students have been disowned, shunned, or rejected from their families. Many can't go to college or have to drop out as a result. Today, we celebrate for the victory we have won, but tomorrow, let's focus on those who still suffer at the hands of ignorance and homophobia.
As always, thank you for the prayers, contributions, and love that have been sent my way.
Earlier this month I applied for the Point Foundation Scholarship which has several parts to it. I'll find out sometime in April if I make the finals, unless I'm cut sooner. I'm collecting my information now for that and eagerly awaiting if I made it on to the next round.
Health news... Sadly this isn't good news. I've been doing progressively worse and worse but I'm planning on seeing another Rheumatologist sometime in January for a second opinion because I don't think that this pain is as a result of a medication I've taken all my life. Being off of it has severely hurt my immune system and left me crippled over the last month. I'm hoping to get a more in depth appointment and more tests to help figure out what exactly is plaguing me. I've been feeling defeated lately with how aggressive the pain is but I'm trying to push through until the time I see another doctor and hopefully answers will be on my horizon.
Now for some wonderful news. As I stated before, I was discouraged from pursuing Independence and told that few receive it. This year, I was encouraged to try but warned again that it's not something they give to everyone who applies, even those in very desperate situations. Last Thursday I received the email and today a confirmation that I have indeed been awarded Financial Independence! This is the best Christmas present. I'm beyond words to describe my joy as this will take off stress and open doors for state grants and more loans through Pitt. If I win the Point Foundation Scholarship, than my worries will be eased almost completely besides that of test stress. Everyone who heard my call for help and came to me with love and support, thank you. I don't know where I would be without those I connected with through the fund, my friends, and my boyfriend's loving family. This is a prayer answered.
So to all, as always, thank you and have a beautiful holiday season with your loved ones and the happiest of New Years.
I've been updating since August regarding my independent status. Finally I have received all necessary documentation to send in to the financial office. They are printed and waiting and will be faxed on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed that its approved!!
It's very exciting and I'm hoping to do this on the side while I work at other places.
As for my health, It's the not so good news. I'm still struggling a lot with energy, joint pain, insomnia, etc. I'll need all your prayers for next semester that my health will remain somewhat stable and won't interfere too much with my schedule. Again, fingers crossed.
I will update when health/Financial status changes.
As always thank you for your love and support. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you!
I had my doctor appointment on November 7th. The Rheumatologist thought that I might have had a false positive for Arthritis as a result of asthma medication I've been on since I was around 4 years old (singulair). I've been taken off of it and will be retested in 6 months to rule out my medicine as a cause of these problems. Hopeful that it's just the medication.
Today, for the first time and probably last time in my life, I was excited to received a bill for thousands of dollars. The reality that I will be heading back to Pitt seems all the more real. With the bill also comes an intense wave of gratitude I feel for all of you who have supported me with kind words and through the fund. I can't thank you all enough for this. It has been a truly humbling experience.
Also, I am entered in a scholarship that you've probably seen other college kids posting about on Facebook. The top five students who receive the most votes are granted 5,000 from Dr. Pepper. I would be immensely grateful if you could vote for me and spread the link to family and friends. http://www.drpeppertuition.com/profile/100000440661940
Hi everyone! Thought I'd make an update since it's been a while.
My semester at Community college is going well. I have an A+ in all my classes. (I actually have a midterm tonight so fingers crossed that I do well). I've contacted my adviser a few weeks ago and set up my scheduling appointment for the spring semester. I'm looking forward to continuing my education at Pitt.
On a financial note, I'm still working, and I'm gathering my information to send into the financial aid office for an override so I can get more loans through the school.
And on a personal note...For many years I've dealt with painful aches in my body, especially my back, neck, and hands. The problem was getting worse and worse and I finally went to the doctor to see what was going on. I got the test results back yesterday and I tested positive for Arthritis. The last couple of weeks have been difficult in school as I tried to take tests when my fingers felt like cement. I made an appointment for November 7th, the day after my birthday actually, to see a rheumatologist. Lately my migraines have increased in frequency because of severe neck pain and I'm really hoping I can get my body on a healthier level and not feel so sick all the time. Hoping for the best.
On a happier note, my writing is going well. I've had off days where my migraines or joint pain was too much for me to write but I'm making huge progress in my book. I'm hoping that before my birthday I can finish editing and send it on for review before looking into publication. On my really bad days the thought of writing and publishing have given me hope and motivation to push through whatever I'm dealing with.
And as always to those who donated and who continue donating, thank you.
Update...so I'm still working on the independent form. Hoping all goes well when I have collected all the necessary requirements and that I am granted it. This basically means the university would grant me the necessary loans that I couldn't get otherwise. It is near impossible to get an independent override. I had contacted Pitt financial aid last week and haven't heard back regarding some questions I had...hoping by the time I submit that I will have heard from them.
My classes are starting soon at CC and again I would like to reiterate how much I appreciate the support I have received.
As a side note/big dream of mine...I have been writing stories since the age of 11 and wrote a 626 page story a couple years ago. This novel is my baby. I've cut down the pages and continue to edit it with the hopes of getting it published in the next few years. If/when it is published I would like to have the acknowledgements/dedication be to all those who have donated and supported my education. Again, if/when that time comes anyone who has donated can have their name if they so wish. I've always had big dreams and am working toward accomplishing this one
When I started my GoFundMe I was not anticipating to reach my goal. To all those who donated and sent me kind messages of love, encouragement, and compassion, thank you. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you. I will be returning to Pitt in the Spring. Someday I hope to pay this forward and am determined to do so.
Currently I am filling out paperwork to be considered independent financially at Pitt. Please keep your fingers crossed and send your prayers my way that Pitt grants this. That would help me get loans for my remaining years at Pitt.
I plan on keeping this page up for the next couple of months as I go through this process and will update any and all changes to my student/financial status. Any money that is donated beyond my goal will be used for school my junior and senior year.
It's hard to believe I'm almost at my goal. Thank you to all who donated and have shared this!
So life update, I've been busy with my new job. It's great experience. Pitt was supposed to call me sometime this week regarding financial independence. Still waiting on the call. When I get that info I'll post it.
Hope everyone is having a good day :).
My name is Kate, I'm nineteen, and I'm a student at the University of Pittsburgh. I worked extremely hard in high school and managed to earn a 4.1 GPA. In College, I made the Dean's List for academic excellence during both the fall and spring semester.
Unfortunately, a week before my first year of college started, my father went through my mail and found out that I am gay. My family, including extended family, is extremely homophobic. After they found out, my parents cut me off financially and I am no longer living with them. They are both unwilling and unable to cosign loans on my behalf. I have searched extensively, but I have been unable to find any loans which don't require a cosigner.
Due to my inability to cover an entire year of tuition, I have decided to spend the fall semester at a community college in the area I am currently living. I have some money saved up from my summer job and a $6500 school loan which will be used toward the second semester, but I still need about $15,000 on top of that in order to make it through this school year. I'm one of three people renting a house for the year with a monthly rent, and I also need to have money for food. I have asthma and allergies which require several medications monthly in order to maintain my health. Most of the money I make at work is going toward rent for this semester and my classes at the community college.
Going to Pitt is a dream of mine and I couldn't bear the thought of not being able to stay there. I am majoring in English and History and minoring in German with the hope of becoming a novelist. I will be immensly grateful if your contributions allow me to stay at Pitt. I'm praying every day for a miracle to help make this possible.
Love to you, Kate, on your education and your photography project. Very proud of your continuing determination and success. I hope your parents are becoming more accepting of the wonderful person you are.