Send Crystal Back to UC Berkeley
Crystal, a member of our YMCA East Los Angeles family needs our help! As many folks may know, the challenges for first-generation students can be overwhelming and incredibly challenging. Crystal had a hard time finding community and struggled with her first year at UC Berkeley. During her time there, she worked part-time on campus to help offset the high cost of living. Halfway through her first year, she learned that her father lost his job and her family quickly started falling behind paying rent. Crystal opted to send her family half of the little she was earning. Her family relied on her for support in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Eventually, it became too hard for her to juggle her education and her family's financial stress and she was forced to move back to East L.A.
Over the last two years she has worked hard to complete her credits at Pasadena City College and was ready to transfer back to Berkeley, the only setback, she owed the school 5k for housing. Berkeley refuses to release her transcripts and will not allow her to reapply for admission until she pays off the outstanding debt. Because the school is withholding her transcripts she is also ineligible to transfer to any UC or State School, effectively putting her educational goals on hold until she can pay off her debt.
Crystal has been an outstanding student and a huge part of the YMCA in East Los Angeles. She has overcome many obstacles growing up in East LA, that included her mother being diagnosed with cancer, her father losing his job and commuting over an hour to school.
Despite all of this she still managed to graduate top of her High School class and be accepted to a top University. Her passion and dedication to her education have not faltered in the face of all this adversity and she continues to give back to the Y and her community.
This is where you come in! After talking with Crystal and putting together a financial plan, I discovered her family was still deeply behind in rent and medical expenses and was not bringing in enough money to pay the bills. Crystal was still giving over half her income to her family and helping to take care of her younger sister's needs. Because of this Crystal was only able to save $50 a month toward her debt. At this rate, she would not be able to pay off the debt until 2024. My goal is to reduce that to one year and send Crystal back to Berkeley by 2019. Anything you can give will go a long way in order to help send Crystal back to U.C. Berkeley so that she can complete her B.A.