Great Stories · Service · Work

Great Stories Part VIII: Family First

There are always some students that really impress us with their dedication to certain aspects of their life.  E is one of those students for me.  He was in my portfolio at the beginning of the year as an unenrolled student, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of responsiveness from him, especially since he was in Minnesota and not Milwaukee.  To my surprise, he became one of my more reliable students in terms of responsiveness and was always friendly. He worked pretty independently and re-enrolled at Saint Paul College for the spring semester.  Since this was to be his last semester, we talked about what he would be doing after he gets his Associate’s, and the plan was to transfer to Augsburg and major in Music.  He was already doing tours and thinking about how to pay for it, which was especially important since he is ineligible for the FAFSA.

After that initial conversation about transferring we didn’t talk for awhile, so I checked in with E a couple months later to see what he was thinking at this point.  To my surprise, he had withdrawn from Saint Paul.  When I asked him why, he explained that he took on a second job to help support his family, who as long as I had known E had some financial issues.  However, the deeper reasoning behind postponing his last class until next semester was what really impressed me.  His sister, also in College Possible, will be starting college in the fall, so E was helping his family was in a stable enough financial situation to send her off.  As an organization we always push for students to work towards their college degree, but it is also important to remember that life happens for our students, and sometimes they have other priorities.  Of all the other priorities E could have had, putting his family first was one of the most meaningful, and I am inspired by him to show that kind of dedication to those in my life as well.

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