I am set to graduate from Smith College on May 19th, 2019. After a long four years as a Sociology major and History minor, I will leave Smith and celebrate my achievements with friends, family and loved ones. As a first-generation college student, graduation is as much a moment for my parents as it is for me. My parents are proud working-class people so creating this GoFundMe has taken a lot of swallowed pride on my part.
I currently have an outstanding balance of $3,725 left to pay. If this is not met by May 16th, I will not be able to receive my diploma nor will I be able to send my transcripts to graduate school programs. I receive generous a financial aid package but I am struggling to finish my senior year's payments. I have exhausted all loan options and still have a deficit of $3,725 to pay in order to receive my diploma on graduation day.
I am planning on applying to PhD programs in History this upcoming fall; in my time at Smith, I discovered my passion for research and working-class women's history and I plan on continuing researching this in graduate school. My future plans will have to be delayed indefinitely if I am unable to make this $3,725 payment. Any help at all is appreciated and gets me one step closer to being able to move forward in my career and life post-graduation. If you would like to learn more about me, please continue reading.
For friends I have yet to meet, my name is Caty Seger and I am an almost-graduate of Smith College where I have studied Sociology and History. I call Ridgewood, Queens in New York City home and my parents are proud, working-class people who have sacrificed everything they have to send me to college. My dad is a New York City bus driver with the MTA and my mother is disabled and unable to work. The work I have done at Smith has inspired me to go back home and make my community and healthier, better place.
I have earned good grades in my time at Smith and have grown as a thinker and member of my community. Academically, Smith has allowed me to blossom and do things that I never would have imagined being able to do. I have been able to research alongside professors as a Quigley Fellow and studied abroad in Havana, Cuba where I did historical research on Cuba's relationship with Puerto Rico. The research I did in Cuba went on to become an academic paper that I presented at the Cuban Research Institute's 12th Annual Cuban and Cuban-American Studies conference in Miami this past February. I was able to do all of this because Smith gave me the chance to do so. Before I go to continue research in graduate school, I plan on returning to my working-class community of Ridgewood, Queens and organizing against gentrification and have plans to work with feminist anti-war organizations.
I have also spent my four-years at Smith College building community for fellow first-generation college students and other working-class and/or low-income students. I have served as co-chair of F1GS (First-Generation Student Alliance, now known as CLIFS [Community for Low-Income and First-Generation Students]) for the past two years and advocated for first-gen student interests on campus. Members of F1GS/CLIFS have said that the organization has improved their Smith experience.
As a working-class student, I have had to fight in ways that other Smith students do not. My four years at Smith have been a constant struggle, filled with chronic worry that I will not be able to finish my degree. I have been blessed with generous financial aid and have maxed out all student loan options. Despite my financial aid, my family and I still struggle to make payments to Smith and have often had to decide between paying rent or paying Smith. This situation has been exacerbated by the fact that my parents have had our bank accounts closed and currently has no access to the little money that we do have. My graduation is just as much my parent's moment as it is mine and I want them to be able to know that I am secure, with my diploma in my hand.
All funds raised will go to paying Smith College. Anything raised past that amount will go to paying off the direct loan Smith has provided me of $5,000. Anything helps and I am deeply appreciative of any and all donations and shares.