Kelly from Columbus, OH

Faces of the Federal Budget

When I was a kid, we were on welfare. My mother was working 3 or 4 jobs … as well as raising me and my sister. My dad was working a night job and going to school full time during the day, getting his degree. It was crazy! It showed me how incredibly important saving for school is, so… I apply for scholarships like it’s my job. [And] last summer I worked 3 jobs, saving everything for school…

I also have a work study job. I think it’s fantastic that the government puts you to work in order to earn money for school. It’s really a great system. With work study and with some welfare programs, you have to contribute something to society in order to get the aid. And that’s crucial. I served a really important purpose as a teacher with this work study job and in exchange, I got money for education. That’s a wonderful system. It doesn’t just give you a handout. It doesn’t just say, “okay, here’s your money just because you’re a citizen and you are poor.” We work for it. And that’s awesome. I think that’s a pretty widely held belief or preference, that you’d rather work for something than receive it [without working]. I certainly prefer it. It’s just a really smart program and it should be expanded.

I’m willing to take out [school] loans because education is an important investment for me. It’s a wise investment [for me] and it’s a wise investment for the government and for the entire nation. Every citizen should feel comfortable with investing in education. Just because it’s not educating you specifically -- guess what?, the people that you’re educating are going to be taking care of your grand-kids. They’re going to be the doctors or they’re going to be dealing with the national security of this country in a few years. And I think it’s a worthy investment for everyone to take part in.

Kelly from Columbus, OH | Map

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