Paying for College

Hi,

I am Zaviona woodruff and I live in Kalamazoo Michigan. Here in Kalamazoo we have an opportunity called the Kalamazoo Promise. It gives students that live in the kalamazoo public schools district to have their tuition completely, or partially, paid off. The school the students chose has to be in Michigan and be a recipient of the Kalamazoo Promise. Today, i learned that i will not be reviving the Promise money. One of the requirements is that you have to live in district. But that didn't work correctly for my family and I.


        My dad is a single father to my two younger sisters and me. He never graduated high school; in fact he went to Loy Norrix and dropped out but went back for his GED. He did not go to college but has always stresses the importance of it. He has jumped from job to job trying to make a safe, stable home for us  though sometimes we have hardly enough to get by. While we have always had a roof above our heads,sometimes my dad just didn't have enough for much else. College, always his dream for us, is going to be something I will have to find a way to pay for myself.


         In the middle of my 10th grade year, my family and I lived in a homeless shelter after we were  evicted from our home. At the homeless shelter we were, thankfully, still in the KPS District and had a bus to and from school. We spent about 2-4 months at the homeless shelter. We even spent Christmas there. Stay at the shelter was an experience that has taught me that people can not take for granted the possessions that they have. I had to share a room with my father and two little sisters. Imagine-if you have siblings- sharing a room with them and your parents. There we two bathrooms one upstairs one downstairs. These bathrooms were shared with everyone in the shelter. After a certain time you had to in your room, lights off really. No more roaming around or getting cold water from the refrigerator.

          After staying in the shelter for those months, my dad found an apartment complex called Big Bend. He applied for a  three bedroom, two bathroom apartment for the four of us. The leasing agent employee there assured my dad that the apartment complex was indeed in the KPS district. They lied. Big Bend is not in the Kalamazoo Public Schools District; these apartments  are in the Comstock District. Imagine our disbelief and disappointment when we were denied a bus to and from school and were told at registration for enrollment in KPS that we lived in the Comstock District. That was my Junior year and I knew that at that point I would be losing the one thing that was going to help me get through college: the Kalamazoo Promise.


Even though my family was lied to, that i continued to go to KPS, that I continued to bust my ass in school I don't get any money to help with college. I was planning on attending Oakland University this coming fall but I don't know anymore. Taking out loans could hurt me more than help me. I just wanted to share this with someone. Anyone who could help. I have so many teachers backing me up, some many people who would give recommendations. I don't know what to do.

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Organizer 

Zaviona Woodruff 
Organizer
Kalamazoo, MI
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