Help! An ex-Minister Needs Skills!

After struggling for words and staring at the monitor for hours, I got desperate and asked my son to write me a prompt for inspiration. This is what he wrote:  "Please help my dad pay for school!  If he finds a good job he's going to buy me a puppy."

Though I don't remember making such a promise, my son swears it's undeniable fact. Against my better judgment, I’ll take him at his word. It's a good way to keep motivated, because honestly I feel a little silly doing this. 

But if my son’s eloquence has touched your heart, I appeal to your good will and ask for your help in raising $6,860.00 for the Neurodiagnostic Technologist training program (NDT) at the American Institute of Medical Science (or AIMS).

How I Got Here:
I understand if I might seem reckless for doing this, but this isn't just for me but the welfare of my family.  I'm doing this to bring more smiles to my family and to respect the reflection that stares back every morning. My decision to enter this program comes after an awkward decade of struggling to support my family of 6 (which includes my parents). 

Prior to this, I had left the ministry when my outlook on the world began to change.  The fact that most of my professional studies revolved around religious matters,  the only skill I could salvage  for immediate employment was my familiarity with MS Office applications. 

I entered the ministry at 18, at a time when I was gullible and needy for affirmation.   I was vulnerable to the words of an emotionally abusive and cultish youth minister, who not only convinced me that I was destined for the ministry, but warned me that any divergence would stir divine disapproval.

Initially I didn’t have problems with the profession; but as perspectives matured, I found it increasingly difficult to be at peace with myself.  As hindsight sharpened my awareness, I inevitably came to see my role as a twisted extension of my youth minister’s abuse of my trust.  Near the end of my ministry I was difficult to be around.  I was perpetually angry and lashing out at people.  So for the sake of my sanity, I made the difficult decision of leaving that comfort zone 10 years ago.

I never knew that leaving my comfort zone would be so challenging.  But my life turned into a series of unsuccessful attempts of trying to reboot my professional identity. I've tried academia, experimented with writing, and even took on an apprenticeship for jewelry design.  But with academics and writing, I was mediocre, and the small shop where I served as an apprentice tragically went out of business.

So far, I've managed to stay afloat by providing clerical support.  However, as economic instabilities have routinely shaken the confidence of many businesses, I've found no lasting security.   

It is only because the last company I worked for had to downsize that I was compelled to go back to school.  I started this quest by enrolling in the local community college.  After doing surprisingly well in the Allied Health courses, some counselors were kind enough to direct me to AIMS, emphasizing the direct training, without redoing the liberal art requirements that I took ages ago. 

Starting July 18, I will embark on this exciting opportunity, which is  why I am here at this moment making an appeal to your good will.

About the Program
If you haven't heard of the institution, AIMS is an accredited vocational school in my county that provides the necessary training for a technologist’s certification and licensing in the Allied Health professions.  Concerning my field of interest: Neurodiagnostic Technologist, it is currently the only training center in the tri-state area. 

With savings and FAFSA assistance, I have about two-thirds covered.  So your help will cover the remaining third, which would cover the entire period of 17-months.  This would include 500 hours of clinical experience required for certification, and the exam to earn the R. EEG T. credential.

What I Hope to Raise:
Tuition:                                     4,360.00
Transportation Costs:     2,500.00
Total:                                      $6,860.00

- Safety:  $4,360.00
- Reach   $6,860.00 

Ideally I hope to make monthly payments of 400.00 to the school at the start of each month.

Explaining the Numbers:
Raising $4,360.00 would be the safe minimum that would cover tuition costs alone.  The extra $2,500.00 for the 6,860.00 reach would also include transportation, which would involve a potential 30-60 mile distance, depending on the location of the internship site.

I'm asking for your help with transportation because I will be away from my family in the evening, and it would be more prudent if our car was accessible to them due to medical concerns for my parents.  AIMS doesn't divide its schedule traditionally into semesters, but requires an unbroken commitment from the beginning to the end of the program .  The fact that the NDT evening program requires 5 days a week for 17 months straight; the transportation support would allow me to leave the car with the family, so I wouldn't have to worry about family related emergencies, especially with my father and his failing health.

May I Have your Help?
As I make this move amidst nervous shakes and butterflies in my gut, I ask for your support.   A donation would go a long way for this quest, or if that is an inconvenience, I would be grateful if you copied the link below and shared it with a sympathetic ear! 



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S'rira Cha 
New Brunswick, NJ
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