My name is Carmen, and I am a sophomore that attends Virginia Commonwealth University. I am a member of VCU Globe and a part of the Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship program at VCU as well. I aim to earn a degree in Social Work and Communications so that I may help those who are in desperate need in my community, and bring attention to the social and political issues that plague my area - including LGBTQA+/MOGAI rights, environmental injustice, classism, and racism.
I have been a part of VCU Globe's Cultural Ambassador program and helping exchange students from all over the world, and next semester I'll also be part of the Teaching Assistantship Program for the Writing and Rhetoric class at my University, helping students research topics about important current issues and critically analyze what they find.
In short, being enrolled in this program, my experiences have all transformed my mind and my heart in ways I cannot express. I've formed wonderful friendships with people and have made active efforts to try and improve the lives of those around me. Overall, I am not the same person I was before coming to VCU.
In July of last year, I had come to you all with an emergency - my father had stopped supporting me financially because of my sexual orientation. This time, I need your help again. I have exhausted all scholarships and funds and unfortunately, as of yesterday, because of a family death and personal circumstances that are completely out of my hands, no one in my family can repay my debt and I am unable to support myself in school.
I've applied for multiple jobs but they will not hire me until May of 2015 due to the short length of Winter Break. I've applied for loans but I've been continued to be rejected as I am 19 year old with no credit. I've made money with a minimum wage job, but that proved to be less than enough because I share rent payments with my mother. My living situation isn't the best, because although my family provides for me, they do not condone my lifestyle very well and do not believe in the goals I have set for myself.
I know my story isn't a big deal and I understand if people do not want to help because they've already helped me a first time - believe me, I know we are all struggling. However, even though I have worked hard at school last semester, I am currently grabbing at thin straws to stay in school. I don't want to have to drop out of college and remain in a place of discouragement and debt.
I have exactly one week before this money is referred to collections and 11 days to pay for it all before my classes are dropped and I am kicked out of school.
I will continue to make small payments while I can, but it will not add up to enough. I really want to remain at VCU surrounded by the people who care for me and support my goals, and surrounded by the opportunities that help me move forward in life.
If you can donate any amount - whether it be $1 or $100 - I would greatly appreciate it.
- Gillian Jenkins
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- Sara Oko
- Teagan Butler
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