By John Lee
Seattle Pacific University
Our financial situation has been the same my whole life.
We have always been blessed enough to have food and a roof over our heads, but special days to others were awkward and disappointing to me. At Christmas time, I remember it being hard to ask my friends what presents they got. When they inevitably asked me the same question, I would be embarrassed to follow up their grand present with mine, which usually consisted of essentials such as socks, just wrapped and finished with a bow.
Due to my family’s tight financial situation, I wondered if normal necessities such as attending college were even possible for me.
How could I selfishly dedicate to studying for my future when I knew that support from my immigrant parents, a pastor and caregiver, would be an impossible challenge for them?
I figured the only way to achieve a brighter future was by working during my time in school and facing the horror stories of student loan debt firsthand.
This was a very daunting feeling until I found out about the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP).
As I attend college, I do not have to worry and stress about financials because of LRAP. This has allowed me to dedicate all the time and energy I need into my classes. With peace of mind, I finished my first year in college with a stellar 3.96 GPA, well on my way to achieve my goals.
This story has been edited for length and clarity.