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Student Loan Forgiveness Scholarship Winners

2019 winner
Student Loan Forgiveness Scholarship 2019 winner

Mia Smith

Graduate Student
Charlotte, NC

My job focuses on college access with high school students as a College Adviser. I’m motivated daily to make someone else’s journey easier than mine. My student debt is not crippling, but it can be an impairment of my mobility, my future academic plans, and my financial security. My loans are worth it. I’ve communicated that to my students. My student loans symbolize my perseverance and socio-economic background. I came from a single-parent household. And my sophomore year of college my mom lost her job. It heavily impacted my college career and my family’s ability to support me in college. But I did what needed to be done to complete my undergraduate degree. When I took this position to be a college adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps my student loans were in mind. Not just because this position will help with some of those loans, but because I knew there were students like me who needed financial literacy lessons. I learned the impact of debt first-hand and I work every day to help students avoid devastating financial mistakes. Teaching and sharing with students my experience as a first-generation, low income, minority student with student debt is empowering. The next generation can achieve greatness. And as for me personally, I can achieve greatness too. I plan on eliminating my student loan debt so that I can achieve a Ph.D. in Public Policy working on college access.

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