Daughter's 1st Day of College: *WHY* We Need *FREE* CUNY + SUNY Now!
As CUNY started its Fall 2021 classes yesterday, I am wishing all the students best of luck, health and excellence in education.
But, on a personal note, it was a very emotional day for me because, in the morning, I dropped off my eldest daughter for her first undergraduate class at a CUNY college. Today, I am now officially the mother of a college student. It reminds me that time passes faster before we can even count the years.
It feels just like yesterday, that I went to my own first day of class at LaGuardia Community College! My now-freshman college daughter was only a little girl in a stroller. I attended classes with students from diverse backgrounds --from many countries, races, faiths, and orientations. There were students who were "rich kids", those who tried to save money by attending a community college. Most importantly, there were also students for whom no other college was available or affordable.
Moreover, there were students with language barriers and major financial disadvantages. Yet, I was also shocked to meet fellow students who would attend school directly after a full night of work, sleep a couple of hours on a bench, and go straight to early morning classes! Aside from working hard to pay for rent, utilities, books, and other essentials, a large number of these students simply needed to work double shifts to pay their tuition. They scrimped, saved, ran up credit card debt, whatever it took.
Education can be an economic equalizer that opens doors for a lower-income working person to a world of possibilities: from jobs to social contributions. I have seen first-hand what education can do to change a person's self-confidence, to boost their own belief in their potential. I ended up attending college after being refused from many frontline jobs; all in a row.
Now, many years later as I look back, I remain truly grateful for being given an opportunity to go to college! After early struggles, and with the support of my family and classmates, a spark of fire and confidence was lit inside me! By the end of my 2nd semester, I received admission invitations from many Ivy Leagues and other prominent colleges. By the end of my third semester, I transferred to NYU to continue my journey.
This would not have been possible without the grants and scholarships that help to cover the continually soaring cost of higher education. But, sadly, there are not enough grants and scholarships available to assist our many rising youths, working mothers like myself, and indeed all New Yorkers who want college degrees to compete in the 21st century global economy.
Financial disadvantage should not deprive anyone of their right to pursue higher education! CUNY was founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847 and it was tuition free until 1975. We should rather advance the progress of our forebears instead. We should be ashamed if we continue to go backward, as we hear stories from our neighbors and friends every day about the spiraling student debt burden that has no place in an inclusive, equitable society based on dignity and care.
If New York could offer a free education in 1847, why cannot we do better for the students of 2021 and beyond?
We need to make CUNY & SUNY 100% FREE again for all who cannot afford tuition. Let's do it together!
Please donate HERE to support our working class movement so that all who seek a college education will have a champion in Albany for the 37th Assembly District!
"Local activists say Jabaida, running a shoe-string operation, is giving Nolan the most serious challenge and has the most progressive support"
Félix Ortiz, Walter Mosley, Joseph Lentol, Michael DenDekker and Cathy Nolan have all received $22,000 to $42,500 from a special account funded by Albany special interests.
"First elected in 1984, Sunnyside’s Catherine Nolan has taken in more than $40,000 in her contest against Mary Jobaida"
Sunrise Movement Recommends Mary Jobaida for New York Assembly District 37 in their voter guide!!!
Where did Mary's opponents received Money from?
"About $120,000 of her $170,000 total haul has come from political action committees (PACs), many representing unions. She’s received donations from chapter 338 of the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the New York State United Teachers, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, and many others.
She’s also received a few donations from real estate interests: $500 from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), $500 from Triad Management LLC, which manages rental properties in Long Island City, and $100 from Gotham Realty. She’s also received several campaign donations from other elected officials and $20,000 from the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, which seeks to protect incumbents and flip Republican seats to Democrats."
"Brecker has only raised $9,000, solely from individuals, and has put another $13,000 of her own money into the campaign, as of the recent 11-day pre-primary filings."
Jobaida received 326 donations for more than $34,000 by January 17, she has only received another $7,500 or so since, likely a result of how the world has shifted due to the coronavirus outbreak."