LGBT college student lost U.S. Army scholarship

$27,658 of $27,000 goal

Raised by 712 people in 1 month
Hi, my name is Map Pesqueira. I am a Freshman at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a degree in Radio/TV/Film. I am also a transgender cadet in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) working towards a commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation. During my senior year of high school, I received a national scholarship from the Army that would help fund most of my education, however, because of the new transgender policy by the Department of Defense, I am now barred from using it and am struggling to find a way to financially afford coming back to UT Austin for my sophomore year. 
Since I was a kid, one of my biggest dreams was to pursue a career in the Army to serve my country. While growing up in a military city, my dad often took me to the Fort Sam Houston Army Base for public events and I was always captivated by the uniforms the servicepeople wore, knowing that they belonged to an elite team rooted in pride and unity that protects our country. That was my inspiration for wanting to be a part of the military; that it wasn't about the individual, it's about being involved in something incredibly larger than myself. In high school, I applied for a national scholarship through ROTC Cadet Command and was awarded a 3-year academic scholarship that would take effect at the beginning of my sophomore year. But, this heavily conflicted with a proposed policy that would bar transgender people from entering service if they have already started their transition.
I happen to be a transgender male who started medically transitioning in 2018. I have been on hormone replacement therapy and living in my preferred gender for 15 months, just recently had top surgery, and have legally changed my name and gender marker. Despite all of this, in January of 2019, the Supreme Court gave the green light to the Department of Defense to begin implementing a new policy that prohibits transgender people who have begun their transition as well as transgender people with a gender dysphoria diagnosis from entering the military. Despite all five service chiefs of the military testifying that having transgender troops does not affect "military readiness" or "unit cohesion".  This completely reverses the 2016 policy that allowed open service to transgender individuals who wanted to join the military. Because I have started medically transitioning, my scholarship is now void. 
I chose to attend UT Austin because I knew I would be able to afford it with my scholarship and it is one of the top 10 film schools in the country. Filmmaking has always been a deep passion I've held close to my heart and intend to continue to pursue it even if I am still not able to join the military after college. I have won film festival awards and graduated from an accelerated fine arts high school where I heavily focused on cinematic arts. It is the way I can feel most comfortable expressing my emotions, identity, and stories I have written throughout my life. I have continued to make strides while in college and have recently been appointed as the Vice President of my dorm's Residence Hall Council, and am actively involved with numerous social organizations, all while balancing this with my rigorous academics and involvement with ROTC.
Since my scholarship is now invalid, I can no longer afford to attend without financial assistance. I received little financial aid from the university despite having a single mother with a low-income and struggled to pay my own way through my first year. Until now, I remained under the impression that my scholarship would take care of my remaining 3 years, but that is no longer the case. 
I am requesting assistance to help fund my second year through this GoFundMe for my steep tuition and room & board. Without help, I will have to return back home to San Antonio, TX where there is no guarantee of the future of my education. I would really appreciate any help you are willing to give me to help me achieve my future goals of graduating from The University of Texas. Thank you kindly.
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Hi Everyone,
Popping in here to give a quick update on the fundraiser.
I opened a new account for the funds raised through this campaign and have started setting up the withdrawal process. This fundraiser will remain open until May 11th. After that date, donations will be closed and the campaign will be officially over. Thank you from the depth of my heart to everyone who has donated, shared, and supported me through this journey. Because of you, I am able to continue my education at THE University of Texas at Austin, something I didn't think I would be able to do after I lost my ROTC scholarship.
The funds raised through this GoFundMe will be used solely for paying for my tuition, housing, and other educational expenses that come with attending university.
I will update again once we get closer to the May 11th date. We are incredibly close to reaching the goal for my total cost of attendance!
Thank you again to everyone who has communicated their love and support for me. I was very apprehensive about coming out with my story at first because I felt like people wouldn't care, though this entire experience has proven me wrong. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll check in again soon!
Very respectfully,
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Hello everyone,
I'd first like to extend my deepest gratitude for your continued love and support. The last week and a half has been incredibly crazy and I'm not quite sure how I am balancing all of this on top of school. Though, my professors have been very understanding about the situation which I am so thankful for.
Since the last update, things have developed rather quickly.
I am still working with the university on finding a solution to the financial problem about coming back to school.
I have written a letter to President Trump regarding this situation. The letter should be making public wave by the beginning of next week.
Lastly, I am so grateful to the people who have donated, shared, and spread this campaign. I really didn't believe it would be this close to making it to the goal!
If this fundraiser is successful, I will be applying the funds towards my total cost of attendance for next year. I truly am so thankful for everyone who has helped me get to this point.
I will post another update as soon as more develops! Thank you!
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Hello everyone, Map here. Firstly, let me start by saying thank you to everyone who has shared and/or donated to this fundraiser. I am beyond words with how much support this campaign has received. Thank you again.
Initially when I published this GoFundMe, I wasn't expecting much. Maybe a few shares on Facebook and nothing more than $50 in support. In doing so, I set the goal below my actual cost of attendance which ended up adding to roughly $27,000 for my freshman year. Since this campaign has gained so much attention, I wanted to change the goal to reflect the actual price for my cost of attendance to UT Austin for my sophomore year.
If this fundraiser is successful, I am already in the process of opening up an educational savings account where this money will be safely set aside until it comes time to pay my tuition & room and board fees for the 2019-2020 school year.
Again, I am blown away by the support I've received. To those who have donated and shared my story, I am beyond thankful. I am filled with immeasurable gratitude for your support. It truly means the world to me. Thank you.
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$27,658 of $27,000 goal

Raised by 712 people in 1 month
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