Meet our first Stay Strong applicant
Throughout the months leading up to Iron Maidens, we will be sharing stories of some of the women who may be eligible to receive financial support through our Stay Strong Scholarship. We hope to shed light on the personal impact this Scholarship will make, and to inspire you in your fundraising efforts.
TS is a 19-year-old woman from Antigua who is in her first semester of college at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. She takes 5 classes per semester so that she can get the most out of the money her mother pays out of pocket for TS’s full-time tuition. On top of that she plays soccer for the BMCC and South Bronx United teams, both for the love of soccer and in hopes that she will be scouted by a 4 year school that will offer her a scholarship.
TS isn’t eligible for any other funding - as an undocumented resident she cannot receive federal or state financial aid and the same rules apply to nearly every scholarship for community college students. She is applying for permanent residency status with the help of the legal team at South Bronx United.
In Antigua, TS was on the “20 under 20” team playing soccer to represent her country. She and her mother moved to New York in 2014 so that TS could get a good education and a job. In Antigua, TS’s mother worked as a security specialist in Antigua. In New York she works as a babysitter, earning around $250 per week; they live with a friend. She puts aside as much money as possible each month for TS’s monthly tuition payment.
For the Fall semester, TS had a $1000 scholarship from Grace Outreach to offset her $2548 tuition and fees (excluding book and transportation expenses).
“There was some money already there so I just had to find the rest,” says TS.
In the Spring there will be no additional money. TS is hoping to get her permanent status by next year. That will give her access to financial aid to pay for college, she’ll be able to get a job to help her mom, and they might even be able to get their own apartment. Until then she has no certainty if she’ll be able to pay for the 16 credits she’s signed up to take in the Spring.