I always think about my education the same way: The goal as a parent is to do a better job than your parents did for you, and leave your kids better off than your parents left you—then they do the same for their children. My mom did that for me, and I hope Jimmy and Collin will have an even better life and do the same for their kids. Here’s Collin a few years ago at his pre-K graduation—off to a strong start. Alright, that’s it for me! Thanks for following along. —Rusean
The way the higher education system works now is just flawed. When I think about my kids, it worries me. I will give them everything I can, but I know I won’t be able to cover everything as it stands now. It has to be more affordable, and there has to be a better loan system that isn’t so predatory. It has to be a little bit easier. I read through Hillary’s plan and it just makes sense to me. I love the idea that you could go to community college for free, and her plan to support students who are also parents like me. We’re all just trying to better ourselves and make a better life for our kids. It should be that no matter who you are or where you’re coming from, a higher education is within reach. —Rusean
I’m paying for my education with a combination of a lot of stuff. First I was getting grants and they were covering most of the costs, but then I had to buy books, had to quit my second job, and I had to take out federal loans. I’m lucky because my debt isn’t as bad as some of my friends’—I have about $13,000 in debt, which is nothing compared to people I know who have $30,000 or $50,000 or more. It’s crazy that $13,000 seems comparatively so manageable when other people have so much more. There has to be a better way. —Rusean
My mom was an awesome person. She was a paralegal and a single parent who raised me and my younger sister. I never worried about anything growing up—that was an amazing thing for a single woman to do. She was all about education; it was really important to her that we went to college. She recently passed away, but the values she raised us with have stuck with me. I want to do the same for my kids. —Rusean
I have a story that many Americans share: Have a family, want to better themselves, take out those loans, work two jobs, do what it takes. I went back to school at 30. I had one child already and another on the way. Between work and raising a family, it took me three years to get the two-year associate degree, but I got it. I’ll be transferring in the spring to get my bachelor’s degree—a four-year program is better in terms of opportunities and salary. But trying to transition into a new career has been hard: It’s always a choice between getting the experience to move forward but taking a pay cut, or staying put to try to make enough and pay off debt. —Rusean
Hey there! I’m Rusean, from Houston, Texas. I’m taking over Hillary’s Instagram account today to talk about college affordability and student debt. We can do a lot more to make it easier for folks who want to go to college, or who are struggling with student debt, to get ahead and make a better life for their families. Follow along here today and share your story in the comments.
“I was considered a tomboy all through elementary school. My fifth-grade class had the school’s most incorrigible boys, and when Mrs. Krause left the room, she would ask me or one of the other girls to “be in charge.” As soon as the door closed behind her, the boys would start acting up and causing trouble, mostly because they wanted to aggravate the girls. I got a reputation for being able to stand up to them.”–Hillary in her memoir “Living History” #tbt