Education to give back and save my community

My name is Holly and I live in a rural, low-income community in Oregon.  I was born and raised in my community and I intend to stay here. I am a first generation college student. It took years (and I mean lots of years) to finish my 4-year degree while working and parenting my daughters.  Ten years after I began my journey of this, what seemed at times impossible task, I finally saw that degree with my name on it. If it wasn't for the huge amount of student loan debt I accrued I would have been floating on air. 

Thanks to previous work with children in my community I was able to snag a 1st grade teaching job at my local charter school. I never predicted I would teach first grade but oh boy did I fall in love with them! Their goodness and genuine nature captivates me. When our year was cut short last year (my first year teaching) I was completely grief stricken. I felt like my own children were taken away from me. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. 

One thing that came out of this tragedy however was me realizing that these kids need and deserve adults in their lives who feel that way about them. In my county particularly there are a lot of new teachers who come in for a year or two of experience and move on to their desired area to settle.
I want to be the best teacher that I can possibly be for them. I want to coach their tball teams, run a summer book club for those who are struggling readers, and the list goes on. I was one of them and I know how much they need me.

About three weeks ago I started my Master's in Teaching.  I believe that this is necessary for me to be what I want to be for them. Especially in first grade, they deserve a teacher who can expertly guide their reading skills and give them a solid foundation in the beginning years of their education. As much as I would like to think I can do this as is, I truly cannot. 

I am starting this fundraiser to hopefully offset some of the cost of this $23,500 degree. Teachers, especially in low-income charter schools do not make very much money. It will take years to get back what I have put into my education (if ever). 

Your donation will aide me in making a difference in the lives of a community of very at-risk youth. Perhaps together we can keep adding to the list of "first generation college students", in turn lowering homelessness,  addiction, domestic abuse, child abuse, and the list goes on. Please help me help my community so they can help the world.


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