Photo Credit: B.Kennedy-Osiro
The foster care system comes with pros and cons like any other institution. One has to be resilient to allow the pros to outweigh the cons because in reality for many there is more bad than good. So how do we do that?
I graduated from a University in Texas with the blessing of a tuition waiver provided from my experience as a ward of the state. After five years of college I have no debt that is to the comparison of an average student. My debt in a way was canceled out by the hardships of my childhood. I am thankful for the financial extension that Texas provided. Not many states offer the privilege of a tuition waiver to former foster care youth. I recognize my fortunate position and want to pursue my education further as the tuition waiver provided by Texas is a lifetime benefit where I can obtain a Masters. Unexpectedly I ran into a roadblock and hit a big NO!
In my life I have learned to accept no. Not in a way that causes me to stop knocking but in a way that says, “It is not your time, yet.” When I contacted the University of North Texas to pursue a MBA and they refused to accept my tuition waiver my determination turned full throttle. One of the stipulations of the tuition waiver states that I need to attend a public university in Texas. Since I married and moved to be with my husband I figured I could attend a Texas university online to obtain my Masters. My thoughts were that the tuition waiver would cover my in state tuition fees and any out of state fees could be paid out of pocket. The university stated NO BUENO! With a rejection in tow and a full throttle tank of determination I knew I needed to not walk away with my head down.
My next maneuver was to contact the representatives of Child Protective Services who oversee the tuition waivers to see what the rules are. After the representative contacted the State Lawyer who acts as a go between for CPS with the Texas Universities I found that this area is a bit grey just like the foster care system. The lawyer contacted the College Board who relayed information that this decision to deny or accept my tuition waiver is up to the Universities. Disappointed yet motivated I still felt something needed to be done. How many other individuals before me have run into this problem only to accept defeat and how many after me will walk in my shoes. I feel passionate about this, as it is my only hope to pursue a Masters without incurring too more debt. So now I am recalculating attempting to figure out how I can get this decision overturned for others and myself.
Turning a no into a yes is hard work and I’m starting with a letter to the University. A letter, that displays my determination and the determination of others against the heart of a failed system; foster care. My prayer is that they will see my passion and change their mind accepting me into their University utilizing my tuition waiver and if need be allowing me to pay incurred out of state fees. I think those who are trying to reach for the stars should not be forced to walk away empty-handed especially when they have come so far.
In conclusion, do not accept defeat walking away with your shoulders hunched and your head hung low. Reassess the situation and find a solution to turn that no into a yes. Your future depends upon it.
© [bretagnebko] and [https://letmeseethelight.wordpress.com], . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [bretagnebko] and [https://letmeseethelight.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.