Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Pay it Forward- Kayla

This is Kayla's story. 

Location: Saint Joseph, MN

"I am a professor in Minnesota and I'd like to nominate my student, Kayla, who is a senior in college this year. 

I've had Kayla in class a few times now and also have gotten to know her because I've been helping her through the application process to graduate school.  Kayla is hard-working and does well in classes.  When she was first in my class, I would always hear her talking with her group about how she worked 3 jobs-- I couldn't believe it! I During the class, her group mates always ranked her high for participation, so I know that in addition to those 3 jobs, she was able to time manage enough to do her part in the group.  I thought that spoke so highly of her work ethic. 

This year, I've learned why Kayla has had to work 2-3 jobs simultaneously while being a full-time college student. Kayla's mother has been an alcoholic her entire life and during her sophomore year of college, kicked her out of her house.  That same year, Kayla's father was diagnosed with cancer.  Kayla worked with the state to be identified as a "self-supporting" student, which probably helped her to receive more financial aid.  But Kayla has used her money from her jobs not only to pay her tuition, books, and living expenses without much help, but she also was sending money to her dad to help him afford treatment and expenses!  
Kayla never asks for anything, never complains, and never asks for pity.  Her family does not value education and she has overcome so much to get where she is. She is one of the strongest people I have ever met. 

Kayla loves doing lab work and research, she is applying to Nutritional Science PhD programs in warmer climates (I don't blame her, its cold here!). 

Kayla also has POTS syndrome (chronically low blood volume) which stems from a heart defect.  
While she doesn't need treatment now for this, I feel like she also needs this money because she needs to feel secure in going to see a doctor-- she told me she often puts it off because of cost.  A few weeks ago she was coughing up blood and went to the ER after putting it off.  I want her to have this money so that she goes in for care right away instead of letting it get bad!  
This syndrome also limits how many hours she can work. 

This week, Kayla and I've been finalizing some of her applications to graduate programs -- typically students apply to between 4-7 and each application is about $50.  Today, Kayla said to me, "I need to wait to apply to some of these schools because the applications are so expensive, I can't afford to eat".  
This wrecked me.  
I know I can help her short-term with some of these items, but I immediately thought of your pay-it-forward initiative.  I found this so ironic as well because I am doing a research study on food insecurity in college students, through my research I've come to realize that many people assume because students in college are paying tuition, that they have enough money for other things.  
That is so far from the truth and Kayla is the perfect example. 

The last thing that worries me is that Christmas break is coming up, and knowing that Kayla often stays with friends, etc. she could use some extra money to help be self-sufficient with food purchases because she doesn't want to always have to rely on others. 

So here's what she needs: 
$200-300 to pay for the remainder of her graduate school applications (she has 4-5 left due in the next month or so...  they are $50-60 each). 

VISA gift cards or money to help pay for gas, her car insurance, and food -- at least for a couple months just to get her through this stretch where she is spending an additional $500 applying for graduate schools that she'd normally have for expenses.  Any additional money would help her pay for when she interviews at these graduate schools and making a small dent in her tuition for college, allowing her to focus more on her studies and just being a college senior, and less on figuring out where her next meal is coming from or how she's going to make a better life for herself."

What an amazing young woman Kayla is! If you feel so inclined to help Kayla out that would be so wonderful! 


You can send Kayla monetary donations HERE which will go to food, gas, graduate school applications, health insurance and bills. 

There is also an Amazon Wishlist FULFILLED
for Kayla with gift cards, medication, etc. 


If you'd like to help Kayla out in any other way, a letter of encouragement, gift cards, etc., email me at JBHolidayPIF@gmail.com with the subject line KAYLA124

Thank you for Paying it Forward!