Graciela's Last Year of Law School

I have been putting this off as much as possible. Despite the overwhelming support I received during my first gofundme campaign, I am stubborn and still feel somewhat undeserving. 

Thanks to many wonderful and selfless individuals who heard my story and invested in my future, I am now in my third and final year of law school. The money we raised during my first year allowed me to continue this journey, and I will be forever grateful.

School has been exhausting not only because it’s substantively difficult, but because it’s an alienating experience to a migrant woman of color who often feels invisible in a conservative career. This feeling of loneliness and failure to belong, as well as the always constant anxiety over money results in periods where my mental health deteriorates and I doubt my ability to finish.

It’s frustrating to me that once again, money, immigration status, and mental health intersect to create barriers in my life. Law school produces countless access to education barriers for students like myself. Meetings with financial services have been fruitless and have provided little to relief to a student not eligible for lines of credit. Requests for accommodations from disability services are met with suspicion and negotiations because my depression and anxiety are not visible. My schedule is made up of school work inside and outside of class, and I am left without time or ability to work, even part time. As for scholarships I am hoping to receive, there is no set date for their award (if I am successful), and I'm on a deadline. 

My primary concerns regarding money at the moment are:

--$1,500 I owe in overdue tuition, due by the end of December (I will not be eligible to register for my January classes unless that is paid in full);
--$2461 that OSAP will not cover for spring tuition; and
--$1,500 for the bar exam.

That's a total of $5,461, without interest accrued from the overdue tuition. 

I am so lucky to have the financial support of my parents, but these expenses in addition to the rest are overwhelming. For this reason, before I reach my full freak out mode, I am asking for support. Any help you could provide, even if it’s just distributing this message to someone that may help would be much appreciated. I know that you all have similar or more severe financial concerns. I figured, however, that it can’t hurt anything but my stubborn pride to ask for help, and that’s something that deserves to be knocked down a little bit, anyway. :)

Again, thank you. In the darkest moments, I remember that I don’t want this degree just for myself. The more I learn about the law that creates and sustains systems of oppression, the more I realize the privilege I have been granted to learn how to understand and challenge law from within. I also remember that so many people believe in me, in my story, and what I fight for. Some day, I hope to pay it forward. 

All my love, 

  • Erika Gil  
    • $200 
    • 41 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Joel Diaz Hernandez 
    • $620 
    • 45 mos
  • Patrice Plambeck 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Graciela Martinez 
    • $125 
    • 45 mos
See all


Graciela Oyuki 
Ottawa, ON
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