Help me accept a scholarship in Russia

Hey friends!


First, the good news. I've received a $7,000 scholarship from The School of Russian and Asian Studies to spend five months interning and studying in St. Petersburg, Russia, working as an arts reporter while studying language at St. Petersburg State University.

And now the bad news. The scholarship is only partial and doesn't cover the full tuition, which is due in January. I'm trying to scrape together the difference -- about $6,000 dollars. As you can see here, I've raised a little over a thousand through this donations page, and have also received money in the mail through family, friends and anonymous donors. I've also been saving every dime that I can get out of my internship stipend and am working a second full-time job. I'll be able to put down almost $3,000 -- but even working 70 hours a week, 7 days a week, I still can't quite get the ends to meet. That's why I'm asking for your help.

My parents are trying to help, but can only do so much. They work four jobs between the two of them. And over the years, they've given me every bit of support I could ask for. They've worked so hard and put in so many extra hours to help me get where I am today. There have been accidents. Totaled cars. Hospitals. Injuries. Surgeries. Illnesses. Pay cuts. Delayed retirements. And through all of it, they've kept going so that I could say yes to nearly every opportunity I've received. All throughout college, I worked as an a barista, an IT rep, an editor and a dining hall worker to help my parents. I even continued to work through a bout with hepatitis and a kidney infection, and only stopped when given doctor's orders because every dollar counted, just like it does today.

I'm pinching every penny of my internship stipend in one of the country's most expensive cities. Even before I came to the nation's capital, I worked 40 hours a week at a dining hall to save up for travel and living expenses in DC. Now here, I live  in a living room shared with two others to save on rent. I make all of my meals on a tiny grocery budget. I take the 40 to 60 minute commute to and from work on the bus as opposed to the 15 minute metro ride so I can save a whole $3 a day.  It all adds up, but it still falls short. 

And so I'm reaching out. To you guys. To friends, family, co-workers, former professors, neighbors, mentors -- anyone and everyone who might be able to help. Maybe you can donate $10 or $20 between now and when tuition is due in January to help me be able to say yes to what is truly an opportunity of a lifetime, one that I have said no to once before for financial reasons. I'd also appreciate if you shared this with a friend -- I've already received very kind and generous donations from total strangers.

I've spent the last five years focused on words -- writing them, editing them, learning them in a different language. But I come up blank when I try to describe how much this chance would mean to me, and how much I would appreciate any boost you can give. I've said no to Russia once before for financial reasons, and I hope this time can be different!

So think about it. You've got some time to consider a donation. Just so you know, any donation you give me through is secure. If you don't like the idea of giving online, you can email me and we can figure it out from there.

Even just a little can go a long way.


Thanks for taking the time to read!

A breakdown of costs
$500 - $1000 estimated for one-way plane ticket
$5995 in tuition difference

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    • $10 
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KS Torres 
Washington D.C., DC
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