Kai at Wesleyan University
My name is Kai Magee and I am a third-year Physics and Theater double major at Wesleyan University. I am asking for your help to keep me in university so that I can earn my degrees and pursue a career in physics education.
Last November, I came out to my parents as transgender; they subsequently declared they no longer consider me family, but rather a stranger. Due to my family’s withdrawal of financial support, I am at risk of losing my opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree and a career path. I am currently unable to pay for the upcoming 2017-18 year at Wesleyan because I will not receive enough financial aid from the school or from the government as I am legally required to submit my parent’s financial information on financial aid papers such as the FAFSA. I am already on financial aid and work-study, but it is simply impossible for a student to pay the remainder of tuition. You can learn more about the FAFSA’s strict restrictions on who they consider “independent students” here .
When I came out to my parents as transgender, I was saddened that their transphobia and fear of anything “different” was not only enough to throw me out of their family, but enough to actively try and "fix" me. They refuse to believe that I am well and sane and have even contacted the class dean numerous times in an attempt to get me disenrolled (there is a whole lot more to that story, but here I will keep it brief). It has been a difficult process to grieve their loss of love for me, but I am very lucky to have close friends and mental health support at Wesleyan. Through many years of parent-related anxiety and depression, the one thing that kept me going was the promise of the future: being able to pursue higher education and a career that I love. It is imperative that I stay in school not only to achieve my career goals, but to continue my relationship with my Wesleyan community and continue to receive healthcare.
It is with great humility that I respectfully ask for your help to let me stay a student at Wesleyan University for the 2017-18 year. I am a hardworking student with a passion for the work that I do. I have concrete goals that I am taking steps toward, such as doing my work-study at Wesleyan's physics demonstration lab and performing in That Physics Show in NYC. I came to America in pursuit of a way to chase my dreams and create a better future for myself and my family, and staying at Wesleyan and earning my degree is an integral step to achieving my goals.
If you have any questions about me or this campaign, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you very much.
Details about goal
Wesleyan's tuition is especially high, even among American universities. My goal is to be able to pay for my tuition during the 2017-18 year. My goal amount is based on the scholarships and federal grants I received for the 2016-17 school year as it is likely that I receive a similar amount the following year, and takes into account the amount of money I expect to earn through work-study and during the summer/winter breaks.
A little more about me
- I was raised in Tokyo, Japan by my Japanese mother and white American father.
- I moved to America to attend university in 2014.
- I am a lighting and projection designer, and some of my work can be found here .
-I am a sibling of the Alpha Delta Phi Society.
- In my free time I like to spin fire (as seen in picture) with Prometheus, Wesleyan's fire spinning troupe which I am co-captaining.
I am also so happy to be able to share this milestone with you all: as of today, I have been on testosterone for 1 month!!
It is so exciting to be experiencing these changes and to be growing into the man that I am in my heart. I am so thankful that by living truthfully, I can bring my full self into my academics, my art, and my community. Thank you all for helping me in this journey!
The FAFSA legally requires me to disclose my parent's tax returns. I cannot simply explain that they have chosen to stop supporting me; the only way that I can complete the FAFSA as an "independent student" is for me to be emancipated, short of getting married or waiting until I turn 26. You can find details on the requirements of "independent" status in the main page of my GoFundMe campaign, under "Story."
I have been working closely with my class dean, the University's financial aid director, and CAPS to compose a case to be reviewed by the financial aid board, which will argue for granting me "independent student" status. The main factors that they will consider are the following:
1. Whether I am able to financially support myself.
2. Whether my association with my parents is harmful to my health and wellbeing.
Although the first will be hard to prove (since being a full-time student with part-time work does not qualify me as financially independent), but the latter may help my case substantially. Although I will keep my medical history private, I can assure you that I am working closely with CAPS so that they can help me make an argument.
If the financial aid board grants me with an "independent student" status, I will be eligible for sufficient Wesleyan financial aid which correlates to my current financial situation.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions! Thank you so much for your time and for your support!
I have a very exciting schedule including a tutorial in physics demonstrations and designing projections and lighting for a theater thesis production. My lovely cat Petra is also doing well. I am so lucky to be living every day where I can look forward to tomorrow!
Hi Kai, I'm a Wesleyan grad who saw your story. I work for a college access organization specifically focused on financial aid (https://www.uaspire.org/), and I'm so glad to see the update that you're working directly with Wesleyan on this -- I came here to say that you might be able to get a dependency override from the Wesleyan financial aid office despite what you have to include on the FAFSA. Best of luck, and if you need support please don't hesitate to reach out! Best, Sage Ruth, Wes '08
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