Why I need your help: As an international student studying in the US, I am restricted within the bounds of law; therefore, I am not privileged to accomplish the following:
1. Apply for and/or receive federal funding, student loans, etc.
2. Work off-campus
3. Exceed 20 hours/week while school is in session
4. Exceed a $15 hourly student rate (which is barely enough for my monthly livelihood with rent, food, etc.)
5. Take a break from being a full-time student so that I can solely work and raise funds for tuition
Everything has to come out of pocket. It is also part of Washington law that my internship remains unpaid. I do not come from a background of means, so if I do not continue with schooling (which keeps my status documented/valid in the country), I will be forced to leave the United States without completing my MA in Counseling Psychology, and without offering professional, clinical, and personal support and advocacy for underrepresented communities who are pushed to the margins.
Where the funds will go: Your generous contribution will go directly to my cost of schooling as a candidate for an MA in Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, focusing primarily in cultural and postcolonial trauma, racial identity, and intersectional feminism. Up to 40% of these funds will go to my therapeutic training at MEND Institute, which is my current internship site where I have a caseload of clients of color, and majority of whom are also part of other underrepresented communities. This internship is a requirement for my Master's candidacy at the school.
• I have an outstanding balance of $10,500 on my student account, which is an amount I already owe from the past semester and last academic year (2018-19) combined.
• In order to keep registering for classes, I have to keep my outstanding balance at $200 or less.
• At a minimum, I need at least $10,500 BEFORE January 6 in order to register for classes for this upcoming spring semester (GoFundMe funds raised would reach $20,100).
• This would mean paying $5,250 each for November and December.
• If I do not register for full-time classes in the winter semester, I will need to leave the US.
• After paying for this outstanding balance, $10,500 will be needed in order to pay for the rest of my final year’s tuition, fees, and supplies, which counts towards my goal of $35,000.
• So in order to pay off what I already owe and cover the additional costs of my final year as a student, I need a total of $35,000.
Why this work is important: In our cultural moment and political climate, cultural harm and intergenerational wounds in marginalized communities are continually being aggravated and brought into the light. People in these communities need clinical support, but many factors prevent them from receiving the treatment they need, such as complex socio-economic conditions, therapeutic methods that don’t account for multicultural contexts, stigmas against therapy as a Western practice or designed for the dominant white culture, and just to name a few. With a degree in Counseling Psychology and with my own experience as a woman of color and a migrant, I will be able to serve people in these communities who have been underlooked in the counseling field, and who need clinical care and healing after being continuously harmed by racism, discrimination, the immigration crisis, intergenerational trauma, and abusive power structures.
Additionally, my stay in the U.S. will support me in continuing my administrative and shepherding work at The Allender Center , as well as allowing me to continue my work in teaching and singing professionally about the experience of living in the US as a migrant woman of color. You can find more of my work here:
Gabes Torres Website
Published Work at The Allender Center
Published Work at The Seattle School
The Bearing Witness Project
You can make this happen for me... for all of us: Please help keep me in the country and do this crucial work. Your generous support will create a significant impact to this vision for the common good, equity, and hospitality for all.
If you partner with me, you will not only be helping me complete my education, but you will also be impacting thousands of people who live on the margins of our society through therapy, education, and advocacy.
I can’t make up this gap on my own. But with your help, I can pay for the rest of my education, stay in the US, and graduate!
Thank you for being a significant part of this journey. YOU are a gift to me and to many.
Come join us for the Bare Witness : on vulnerability & becoming event on November 9th!
Keywords: racial trauma, postcolonial trauma, spiritual abuse, religious trauma, abuse of power, cultural identity
Social media hashtags: #KeepGabesHere, #ImWithGabes, #HelpGabesStay