For the last 15 years, I've had both the pleasure and the privilege of mentoring a young lady named Georbina DaRosa
, originally from the Cape Verde Islands. As her first ESL teacher, I've watched her go from a shy, non-English-speaking third grader at Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury, CT to salutatorian of her high school class at Harding High School in Bridgeport, CT, to a proud college graduate of Connecticut College.Georbina, a proud member of the Class of 2017 at Connecticut College in New London, CT.
She's now on her way to Columbia to do her Master's in Clinical Social Work. Georbina's rise from a poor, immigrant kid in a tough inner-city neighborhood, to taking the oath of American citizenship as a high school senior, to getting that acceptance letter from Columbia is a true example of the American Dream, but as we all know, when it comes to higher education, the American Dream doesn't come cheap.
In order to complete her degree at Connecticut College, Georbina has already had to take on $37,000 of undergraduate debt. In order to complete her degree at Columbia, Georbina will have to borrow almost $86,000 more. I don't want Georbina's American Dream to die under a crippling load of student debt. Yet, I also believe that if she was able to get into Columbia, she should go. I want to ease her financial burden as much as I can. Your donations will help me help her.Georbina and I "on the hill" after the commencement ceremony at Connecticut College, May 21, 2017.
My pie-in-the-sky goal
is to raise enough for Georbina to be debt-free by the time she completes her Master's in 2019. That's $123,000! Yikes! Within that very ambitious goal, however, there are some more down-to-earth targets.
Target 1) Raise $12,000
, enough for Georbina to repay the private, undergraduate loan she had to take, cannot defer, and will have to start repaying in a few months.
Target 2) Raise an additional $25,000
, enough for Georbina to repay all her undergraduate loans, both public and private.
Target 3) Raise as much as possible of the remaining $86,000
so that if Georbina wants to go on and do her Ph.D. after she finishes her Master's, she won't be so crippled by debt that she's unable to do so.
Your donations can help me achieve some or all of these targets. You can help a girl who's helped herself, a girl who's struggled, worked hard, and played by the rules even when the deck was stacked against her. Your donations can help make Georbina's American Dream keep coming true. Please consider giving what you can and sharing this campaign with others. We would be so very grateful!Georbina with her younger sisters on graduation day. In Georbina, they've had a strong educational role model. She is the first person in her family to attend college, but not the last!
If you should wish to give, just not online, checks can be made out and sent to:
c/o Linda Strange
P.O. Box 1118
Southbury, CT 06488
You can also follow Georbina's continuing educational journey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/makegdebtfree