I am a student at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, pursuing a bachelor’s in community and mental health and a master’s in counseling. As a full-time student, full-time mother of two toddlers and a veteran of the Iraq War, I have faced many obstacles while pursuing my education. As the economy has taken a dive for the worse, tuition has increased, book prices are skyrocketing and there seems to be no hope for gasoline prices. Many people, me included, are forced to rack up student loans just to put food on the table.

Growing up, my parents (who are college graduates) always emphasized the importance of a college education. I remember during my senior year of high school, my father finally paid off his student loans–he was so relieved! I remember thinking at that moment, “I don’t want them to pay for my education. They have paid for their own, and they worked really hard for a long time to do it.”

With that in mind, my two older brothers and I all joined the military. On the bright side, we do have our tuition covered by our GI Bills; but despite the assistance, we are all struggling to provide for our families. I rely on financial aid to feed my family and pay my bills.

I hope that the economic crisis is figured out soon. In addition, I hope those who wish to take away my educational funding (student aid and GI Bill) figure out another route. My family’s success relies on my education and our country’s success is dependent upon the education of our future leaders.

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