I have a giant mountain of college debt. My pulse races a little bit whenever I think about the tens of thousands of dollars that I owe. I’m proud of the work I’ve done. I have my A.A. and I also have a certificate from culinary school. But I earn about $4.98 an hour as a child care provider. How can I continue going to school, let alone pay for the schooling I’ve already received?
But I want my B.A.
I’m an educator. Everything I do as a family child care provider is designed to make sure all the children in my care go to college and get their B.A. I provide an academic environment for children from birth to kindergarten. I love what I do and the kids in my care end up being at the top of their class.
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And every day, I still want my B.A.
I want to be an example for my own son. I want him to get his degree. I need him to see me complete my education. But with all my school loans, I didn’t know what to do.
Then earlier this year, my union announced a new benefit of membership: an affordable college degree from a respected, fully accredited college—College for America—for $2,500 per year or less! I applied and was accepted.
I was excited before I even heard all the specifics. I know that anything our union puts together is designed to make life better for its members. And I know that it’s our amazing strength in numbers that allows us to win benefits like these. After I looked into the College for America details, I learned that it fit my life plan.
Applying was easy!
As part of my application process, I saw a button to apply for a Pell Grant to pay for my tuition. I clicked on it, filled out the forms and BINGO!…100% tuition paid!
Even though I was accepted a couple weeks ago, I’m still so excited! I start April 6th. And I’m already starting to dream about what I want to do. I’ve worked hard to build our union for child care providers. Along the journey, I noticed how important our political action is to accomplishing our goals. I have lobbied legislators, met with the Governor’s staff and talked to voters about important legislation. I grew to understand how important it is to use our voice in the public arena. I plan on getting my B.A. in business from College for America and I want to take my passion for good public policy to my future career—perhaps working for a legislator who stands up for working families and who is committed to fixing California’s broken child care system!
Wish me luck, sisters and brothers!