My name is Ahira Medalla, and I am currently a Senior at San Diego State University, planning on graduating with a BS in Public Health. For those who don’t know me, let me just say that I love Public Health. I often remark how excited I am that I picked a major that was meant for me right off the bat. I really do value my education here at SDSU, and I am happy that I’ve found professors who share the same passions and have helped answer my questions and guide me to further my experience in the field.
But the thing is, my major requires me to study abroad. I created this Go Fund Me in order to fulfill this requirement so I can graduate.
Studying abroad is supposed to be a great college experience, but it’s a luxury I can’t afford right now. According to the travel advisor in my college (College of Human and Health Services) that I was in contact with, time and financial conflicts would not be considered. This is where I have found it the most difficult to understand. I grew up with my single dad and sister, but I can no longer ask my dad for help as I haven’t been in contact with him for two years. I also don’t really have immediate family I can ask for help, so it’s hard to get financial aid when you’re still considered a dependent on people you have no contact with.
For the past two years, I have been on my own, taking care of myself and my little sister. I had three jobs at one point in order to keep up with helping my sister when she needed it, paying for the demands of school and life, and being able to still have a little fun. It’s definitely hard, but sometimes you have to keep going. Putting me and my sister’s needs first is how I’ve managed to put this requirement on hold until my senior year. I’m afraid that now it’ll keep me from graduating altogether. I wrote all of these things in detail to the travel advisor, but they were still not good enough reasons to exempt my study abroad requirement for another class I could take in place of it.
I did my research and found the cheapest program this summer (cheapest with all things considered: length of trip, housing, meals, visa, transportation, lifestyle). It’s only a 1.4 week trip to Thailand. Most meals are taken care of, and all of the living arrangements are also taken care of. I come from an Asian background and am familiar with Asian culture. I have spoken to my academic advisor, and she is allowing me to walk in May with my fellow peers with the condition that I study abroad this summer. I would be considered as graduated the following August. This is the plan I am trying to follow, but I have to admit doing everything on my own is hard. I’ve applied to four scholarships, and I’ve yet to hear back, but I’m scared I might not know if I was chosen to receive it before I have to pay for program fees and for tuition. March 15th is the last day I can withdraw from the program without my deposit being taken away, but I’m willing to lose some of it with the hope that this Go Fund Me will help me.
I don’t want to let my circumstances take away graduation for me. I am a first gen college student, and graduating means everything to me. I’m setting an example for my little sister who’s questioning the value of having an education. I am only a semester away from graduating and it saddens me to think that a study abroad requirement can keep me from that. I’ve done my best to get here on my own but a close friend reminded me that it’s okay to ask others for help. She supported me and my effort to create this Go Fund Me, and for her, I am very thankful for. This Go Fund Me would help me pay for airfare, the program, and for tuition. Thank you so much for giving me your time and reading this if you still are! Please feel free to ask me questions if you have any.
DonationsSee top donations
- Julie Goldman
- Kiara Maple
- Inbal Giron
- Berhan Turk
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more