Please Help Me Stay At Pitt
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.
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 email@example.com."
You can follow the facebook page for this project at https://www.facebook.com/theIamProjectcommunity/
Thank you for the love and support!
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.
Posted by Kate Koenig
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.
Posted by Kate Koenig
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!!
Other good news, I started up my photography business on facebook. During the school year I'll be operating out of Pittsburgh and in the summer I'll be in Chicago. So please like and share the page, I'd love to have some business!
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!