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.