Tabitha Ozaki's First College Degree — Abroad

Hi,

My name is Tabitha Ozaki and I need your help to fund my first college degree so that I can earn a higher income writing. Thank you for visiting my GoFundMe page and watching my video.

Here's my story:

In high school, I received A-level grades and graduated with a 4.13 GPA. I got accepted to California Polytechnic University and other universities with scholarships, but I didn't know what I wanted to study. So, I threw myself into a full-time job as well as full-time studies at a local community college to save money by not taking out student loans.

For eight years, I explored different fields while I worked and volunteered part-time. I...

  • owned a medical cannabis business
  • studied aromatherapy
  • worked for a zero waste non-profit
  • became a yoga teacher and volunteered my time teaching incarcerated teenagers
  • assisted a professional ceramic artist
  • farmed
  • planned to open a grocery store
  • tried to be a singer

Yet, all those careers weren't right.

How I became a writer:

Then in 2020, I had a spiritual experience. As I stood in a small library aisle, my heart whispered, “You’re a writer, Tabitha.”

Before that moment, I’d hike barefoot on trails reciting words into a recording device. With awareness, I witnessed my obsession with writing ideas down. For years, I'd attend poetry events and write in my journals. Always, I'd fancy quotes from famous philosophers and authors. I'd read books and blog posts, thinking how great it would be to share my words. Not once did I put making a living and creating with words, together.

That day, the thought of being a writer took hold of me. Before I went home, I ended up checking out a writer's handbook. Then I began organizing my material. Yet, I questioned how I’d make a living as a writer.

After eight years of exploring different fields, I have an undeniable desire to pursue an international degree in exactly what I've always wanted but took so long to realize: writing. I want to finish my studies then travel the world typing about love, life, and God. The thought of sharing my work with others to relieve people of suffering is what drives my art.

My desire to help the planet and our people heal is strong within me. Educating communities in creative ways about Zero Waste Philosophy and Yoga & Meditation are also a part of my plans. I'm determined to help the earth, humanity, and all of existence in dedication to health and happiness.

The predicament:

After closing my medical cannabis company, I had $11,000 in credit card debt from running the business. I decided to live in my eco-friendly Prius on the central coast to save money to pay off my bills. I was planning to move to Thailand, but Coronavirus hit.

Living in a vehicle on the streets, showering at a climbing gym, and staying at my friend's houses in preparation for my next life project made me speculative. However, I did end up paying off all my credit card debt in less than two years.

But at the start of COVID-19, I lost my three jobs working as a hostess, house cleaner, and delivery driver — while I was living in my car trying to be a writer. I was in an emergency living situation too. I was about to live in my Prius in the midst of the pandemic. It drove me across the country — from California to Ohio — to live with my parents again for the first time in eight years. 

Dark moments followed the fact that I was living with my parents again. My soul became impoverished. My mental health declined. I tried to run away from my decision not to go to college eight years prior. Sorrow-filled thoughts made me wonder why I was even alive. I fought hard with my demons and thoughts of suicide.


But I had to learn how to love myself for making that imperfect decision. I needed to take responsibility for my actions.

Now, I’m learning to recognize that there is a lot of meaning behind that one unsound decision not to go to college right away. Honoring the biggest lesson I learned: jump when you have an opportunity at education.

Why I'm raising money:

I want to study at a college in England — the birthplace of the English language. I recently completed an intense application process to the institution of my dreams: Falmouth University. The college can assist my learning disability better than any other school. My future hangs in the air with this final leg of admittance as I got accepted with a conditional offer. Luckily, I have a backup offer from a school in the United States, Arizona State University, ready to go.

Yesterday, however, I discovered that I will be unable to attend either because I cannot qualify for a student loan. 

Yet, all hope is not lost. My goal is to raise $20k by September 1st, 2021 to secure a place to study. I know it's a lot to ask, and especially in a small amount of time, but with your generosity, I have a chance to earn my first Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing — abroad!

My work:

Luckily, I secured two remote writing positions during the pandemic while I was unable to work in-person due to my living circumstances. I’ve also been blogging on my website, Zero Waste Yogini, about Zero Waste and Yoga Philosophies. My blog is what helped me land those two jobs. Now, I work as a technical writer and a blogger. 

I write research-based technical articles for a bio-plastics company called Earthwise Packaging. As for the second position, I curate blog posts about functional mushrooms and healthy lifestyles for Mushroom Revival.


But without a bachelor’s degree, I cannot qualify for most professional writing positions. I’ve applied to some, but with no luck. This leaves me to write under contracts at a low salary, no health benefits, and the need to work part-time as delivery driver too.


Your donation:

With my two writing jobs (and more work during college), savings, and a $9,500 federal loan, I can pay for most of the $47,000 annual cost of attendance except...

  • most of my tuition: $15,925
  • rent: $4,075

I plan to work and save as much money as possible during my first year to pay for my second year's tuition. Then again for my final year.


Currently, I'm applying to as many scholarships as I can and asking companies and organizations to sponsor me.


If you know anyone willing to sponsor an Asian American female writer. Contact me.


I need your help for this first year, please. I'll be another step closer to accomplishing my dream of publishing books. I want to change the world with my writing. I hope to inspire health and happiness within as many individuals as possible. To help heal our people and the planet with my words— that’s my purpose.

From the bottom of my heart, I am so thankful for your support. And I am so appreciative of your help.

Many blessings,
Tabitha


P.S.

Once, I shared a poem I titled, “In The Dust.” My poetry teacher shared a tearful response after I recited my work. My love for written words in respect to inspiring emotions from within my readers means a lot to me. Thank you.

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Organizer

Tabitha Ozaki 
Organizer
Beachwood, OH
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