Help former journalist become a teacher

Hello. My name is Daniel Finney. I made my way as a newspaper reporter for most of 27 years. I survived two job cuts, but the third one in 2020 finally stuck. I returned to graduate school at Drake University to earn my master's degree in education; I seek to become an English teacher certified through grades 5 through 12. Unemployment ran out some time ago. Recently, I was denied acceptance into a federal program that would extend my unemployment benefits for up to six months. The rules for the program say you need to have left a declining field and be seeking training for a "needed field." Journalism is dying. My state's largest newspaper recently stopped printing on Saturdays. There is a new story about teacher shortages every day, but this was not enough for the state. I am challenging this ruling through the appeals system, but it could take months, and my need for basics — rent, groceries, insurance, gas, etc. — is immediate. I live with chronic arthritis in both my knees. I use a walker. I am currently student teaching and in the final two months. I can't work a second job. Your donation will not go to a lavish lifestyle. I live in a one-bedroom apartment close to my college campus. The district I teach at is about 30 minutes away, and I'm paying about $60 a week in gas. I set the goal at $15,000 because the unemployment benefits from the program I was denied would have equaled roughly that. The additional money is for anticipated fees of this service. I don't like asking strangers for help, but I need it. I won't be able to pay anyone back directly, but I promise this: I am working to be the best teacher. I believed in the altruistic ideals of journalism when I started that career, and though corporate greed corrupted that through the years, I still believe a person's life should serve others. The symbol on my university seal is a book illuminated by the flame of an oil-fueled brass lamp. As a newsman, I sought to be the fire that brought light upon knowledge of the communities where I worked. Now, I strive to be the oil — the fuel — for young minds to light their flames and find their paths in the future. I am asking all of you to be my brass lamp and be the community that holds both oil and flame and makes progress possible.

Organizer

Daniel P. Finney 
Organizer
Des Moines, IA

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