Total loan: $10,000
Los Angeles, CA, United States / Services
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My mother was an African immigrant from Ghana, the only child of 14 siblings to get a higher education. That carried its own burden as she traversed an ambitious journey that no one else in her family made; to create a life for her and her children in the US. I received a full scholarship to attend undergraduate school, but at 17 years old, I had little prep for the world of finance and my mother and I learned together. I took out a student loan and used a portion of it to help my mother repair the roof of our house. Back then, I would receive tons of solicitors for credit cards and other lending products walking home from campus. It seemed like the right thing to do, helping out "mommsie", and my counselor reassured me that student loans were “good debt”. Years later, the loan had ballooned to the cost of three rooftops. During that challenging time period, my dear mom passed away, and it shook my confident foundation. Loneliness, debt, depression and despair loomed. I was so naive about interest rates, compound interest, refinancing, etc., The journey just seemed unfair. I felt that my debt brought disgrace to my mother's legacy and how she worked so hard to achieve a better life for me. Eventually, with much #heartwork, experience and gratitude, I completed medical school and residency and was also able to afford to pay down my loans. Yet, decades later, I still hear the stories and the despair amongst my patients with even greater intensity. The burden I felt as a daughter, and financial partner to a single mom is felt by many. The student loan crisis affects 44 million Americans. Many have not experienced the big break they anticipated after college or graduate school. Many people with incredible skills and multiple degrees still find themselves feeling helpless and lost, and worst of all, ashamed. I founded the Shared Harvest Fund (SHF) to pull people out of the darkness and remind us all that life is a beautiful struggle, education is a GREAT investment, and we are in this together. SHF wants to provide a consistent leg up to those in need because the playing field is never leveled, like life, it’s constantly changing. SHF is more than just a volunteer/job board, it’s about supporting higher education and the many nontraditional tracks people have to take. We support financial freedom through our direct loan stipends and we promote financial literacy, building and strengthening communities and creating a social network that helps to combat depression attributed to ballooning student loan debt.