This story was submitted to us by Sharon Xi, University of Washington.

I am a graduate student at the University of Washington, studying school psychology in the College of Education.  As an immigrant to the United States at the age of six, I have always appreciated the value and benefits of higher education, and have worked hard to be where I am today.

I am writing to you because my successful journey through education thus far would not have been possible without the help of federal financial aid.  I was a recipient of the Pell Grants as an undergraduate student at the University of California, Irvine, and I am currently attending graduate school with the help of the Perkins Loans.  My attendance in college has afforded me many opportunities to give back to the community; through participating in a variety of tutoring and mentorship programs, from teaching social studies to high school students, to increasing literacy in middle school English Language Learners.  And as my family and I encountered economic hardships, especially in recent years, federal financial aid has allowed me to stay in school and pursue my dreams and a career in school psychology.

My continuing experiences in graduate school and beyond will allow me the opportunity to be a valuable resource for our community, as I work with children in the educational setting.  I hope to continue developing my career path, and hope that the same opportunities afforded me will also be available to future students.  Education is a most worthy investment; our success will benefit everyone, as families and friends and neighbors in our immediate and global community.

Education should not be limited only to those who could buy it – it should be available to anyone who seeks it.  That is why Congress should pass the student aid overhaul bill.  As our senator, I thank you for speaking on behalf of the bill, and on the behalf of everyone seeking a better future through education.

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