Last year at the age of thirty-six, I made the scary and transformative decision to become a full-time college student. Nearly twenty years after graduating from high school, I started attending lectures with peers young enough to be my children, found that algebra still brings me to tears, discovered a long lost love for learning and perhaps most importantly, that I am actually a good student. I am also a divorced, full-time single parent which has been the driving force behind my return to school. I want to provide financial security and freedom for my little family, to show my children they can change their lives even when the odds seem stacked against them- with versatility and determination.
Because I am a single parent living in a rural area that requires significant commuting, I chose to quit my waitressing job and to take out loans to get us through the winter. In this way I was able to focus solely on parenting and excelling at school. I made Dean's list both semesters and ended the year with a 4.0 GPA.
At the end of last semester I made the exciting decision to transfer to College of the Atlantic, a unique, small college that lets you design your own curriculum under one universal degree in Human Ecology. Their model is very self directive and encourages independent study which is more geared towards a non-traditional student like myself. My long term plan is to earn my Bachelor's degree there and immediately apply for a graduate program or fast track to PHD and become a therapist with a specialization in sexuality.
How your contribution helps: The tuition is significantly more expensive at COA, which means that less of the meager loans I qualify for come directly to me for books, labs, commuting and general living expenses. Although I am currently working three summer jobs to save for the winter/school season, the tuition hike, combined with recent major unforeseen vehicle expenses and sudden unreliable financial support from my co-parent, has me so far behind financially that I am doubting whether I can continue with my schooling in the fall.
I chose $6000 as the minimum amount of money it will take to get through the school year. Any amount above that goal will roll over into the next year. Whatever your contribution, it will go far and be deeply appreciated. If you cannot financially contribute, simple words of encouragement go farther than you might think!
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