Maybe you’ve just started to pursue a higher education. Maybe you’ve spent your adult life paying off debt from school. Either way, you’ve probably got questions about why college costs so much, what can be done about it, and if it’s even worth doing in the first place.
You should ask those questions to the President of the United States.
On Tuesday, June 10, our Founder/CEO, David, will head down to Washington to host a live conversation about education with President Obama. David will ask your questions. The President will answer them, out of his mouth, in front of the world.
(The White House will also be picking out a few question-askers to join us in person. If having the President’s ear isn’t enough, maybe standing on his carpet is.)
My name is Benjamin Powell and I’m an assistant professor at CIty University of New York Borough of Manhattan Community College. Last semester I had the privilege of teaching an incredible woman. Her name is Ebony and she lives in Brooklyn. Over the course of that one semester Ebony saw two friends shot, helped raise a foster child who turned five this last week, went hungry so that child could eat, dealt with health complications from cancer, her grandmother died, and often could not afford a metro card to get to school, all while being the most intelligent, creative, and compassionate student I’ve ever encountered. When I spoke with her yesterday to make sure it was ok to say this she told me that in 2012 when she was on unemployment, making $140 a week, she still managed to scrape together enough money to donate to you reelection campaign. She volunteered and registered people to vote from the NYCHA houses in her neighborhood, and made a promise to herself that if you got reelected, she would go back to college because she so believed in your capacity for changing this country that she wanted to graduate and get out there to foster that change herself. These types of experiences are not uncommon for many of the students that are women of color at BMCC and in the greater US. My question for you then Mr. President is: what provision or element of your new policies would you point to so that Ebony and other students with similarly complex lives trust that if they take out federal loans to go to college they will also be able to repay those loans without adding to the struggle.