Help pay for Graduate School

Greetings, my name is Renae Gray, and I am of the Diné-Navajo Nation. I currently reside in Albuquerque, NM, and I am originally from a small community west of Gallup called Iyanbito. I am a graduate of the University of New Mexico earning a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts. My studies revolved around Community Health Education and Sociology, providing me with the opportunity to enhance my skills in health education strategies, community outreach, and advocacy.  I identify as a Native- Diné Trans Woman, and I have survived discrimination, incarceration, stigmatization, violence, poverty, exploitation, harassment, homelessness, addictions, and sexual assault. This has motivated me to fight for better treatment and services for all Trans* People.  I have been doing Trans* Advocacy at the local, state, and national level. I am a nationally recognized expert for Trans* Advocacy, especially in public health.

My next aspiration is to pursue a Master’s degree in Health Education with a concentration in Community Health Education at the University of New Mexico.  My lived experiences serve as a foundation for graduate school and beyond. My academic and career goals include exploring Health Impact Assessments, community-based participatory research, project management, grant writing, and advocacy.  I am particularly interested in pursuing the thesis track, and I am considering writing a thesis on the topic of transgender health and identify the inequities that result in poor health outcomes to create sustainable solutions. 

I applied to UNM for Fall 2017 admission, and after review, the faculty recommended that I complete 9 hours in non-degree status to transition into graduate school. I am eager to begin these courses, but non-degree status does not qualify me for financial assistance.  Since I have graduated from UNM in December of 2014, I have become homeless twice. Work has not been easy to find, and interview after interview I am told, “we regret to inform you that you were not selected for the position.”  With an outstanding Bursar’s account balance of $800.00, and because of the long overdue payment, my account has been sent to an outside collection agency, which prevents me from enrolling in courses at UNM until the outstanding bill is paid off.  The current balance is $1400.00, and I am asking for help to pay the outstanding balance to continue my college education and to reach my goal in obtaining a Master’s Degree in Health Education. 

I am fully committed to continue promoting awareness, advocacy, and safety for transgender people and to gain expert knowledge to enrich my past training and experiences.  I am ready to embark on this academic journey and lend my enthusiasm, dedication, and voice to the Master’s Program at UNM. Although it is difficult for me to create this page, I am so thankful for any donation you can make to my GoFundMe so that I can pursue my education.
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Organizer

Renae Gray 
Organizer
Ciniza, NM
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