When I was in high school, I fell pregnant with my daughter. My main concern about our future wasn’t worrying about my own spare time—it was the fear that I might fail her due to my age. Regardless, I worked very hard and graduated from high school (early, in fact!), working as a babysitter, and taking care of her as a single mother. Soon after graduating at seventeen, I looked into colleges and at first was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to further my education because of the cost.
After receiving my acceptance letter from the private college of my choice, I spoke with a financial aid adviser and told her about my concerns. From there she educated me about grants and loans, and I felt so happy I could cry. Now, several years, classes, and jobs later I am less than a year away from my degree.
Student loans are the only reason I am able to afford college, and have drastically improved mine and my daughter’s lives. I am hoping that after I am done with my degree, that I will be able to open up my own portrait studio, and not only be a contributing member of our great nation, but also make my daughter proud and give her a great life.
So thank you, President Obama for looking out for students like myself; to have given me the opportunity to just be a mother and not just the horrible stereotype that a lot of young mothers turn out to be due to limited resources; and more importantly have given my angel Iris the chance at a great life I originally feared wasn’t possible.
A photo of the angel you and your administration have helped; here is Iris at six years old, happy, healthy, intelligent, loving, beautiful, and eager for the future.