You can access my GoFundMe page here.
Hi, I’m Carrie Cuinn. I’m an author, editor, mom of a child with special needs, and now, a college student. Three months ago, I was laid off from a good job, probably the best job I’d ever had. After looking at my history of struggling to find work while supporting my son, I decided to go back to college.
I’d previously started just after my son was born, and juggled that while working and raising him. I graduated from Sacramento City, a community college, and was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania. (Not bad for a girl with ADHD who tested out of high school early, rather than risk not graduating at all.) I moved us out to the East Coast and went to university, all while working and caring for my child. Unfortunately, UPenn is an expensive school, and I burned through all my available student loans keeping us afloat. Just before my last semester, I ran out. I didn’t get to finish my Bachelors degree, and have been trying to make ends meet without it ever since.
I still have that student loan debt, though.
Being laid off this summer gave me an opportunity, in a way: I decided to go back to school, this time for Business (not my passion, but a much more marketable skill set).
School itself is paid for; I got two grants, so I’m covered for this year and potentially the next year. With my transfer credits, that will get me to a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a focus on Public Administration, from a local state school. It covered classes so perfectly that I didn’t get anything back for living expenses. I can apply for scholarships for the spring and will, but that won’t help until January or February 2016. I’ll get a decent tax refund, since I didn’t make much, but again, February or so. That leaves me with living expenses for this month, and at least three more. I do have some income that I can count on, but realistically, I’m short about $800 a month, every month,
I don’t need much. I just need to pay my rent and heat, my $50 a month cellphone, internet, and food. I’ve gotten rid of every other expense, and worked out a deal with someone for the in-state convention I’ll be attending in November (my part of which I’d already paid for when I had a day job still). I can live without clothes or anything for myself for the rest of this year. But, I have to make certain I can keep my son fed and sheltered, because if I can’t do that while I’m in school, I’ll have to drop out of college again.
I appreciate any help you can give.