Imani Khumalo
I am a first-generation, third year college student who comes from a single parent household. I will be the first in my family to ever get a college degree. Unfortunately, student debt is currently preventing me from continuing my educational journey. Here is my story.

Through many obstacles such as health issues, losing our home to foreclosure, homelessness, depression, ADHD, and studying at night in the car using a flashlight, the only thing that kept me focused was my dream of going to NYU and my mom's relentless encouragement to not ever quit because anything is possible. I wanted an NYU education so bad that it consumed most of my thoughts. I got into NYU and my mom and I rejoiced as if we had won the lottery. I love it here; my professors, my new friends, and the city. I am thriving here. Although challenging because of my ADHD, I look forward to my classes because learning excites me. This is my place. But, as of now I am not enrolled. I am in emergency, temporary, NYU campus housing because things back home aren't going so well for my mom. She lost her job, but only cares about what is going on with me and sends me her last money so that I can eat. Fall semester starts September 2 and If I am not enrolled by September 1, I will have to vacate the dorm.

My mom has been calling and emailing Financial Aid almost every day for a month to get more money. I am on a scholarship, and have financial aid, but it doesn't cover enough so I always carry a balance and every semester my mom is on the phone with NYU. Today, after a month, she found out that NYU is absolutely not going to give me any more money. Even though they have tons of it. My mom asked Financial Aid if they even cared if I left school, forewent my education and went back to my mom who is now jobless and homeless. Their response was "Unfortunately, no".

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