By Manuel A. Munoz
Hey everyone! My name is Manuel A. Munoz, and I am a native from Austin, Texas! But what truly describes me is my status as a 5th Year Senior at Texas State University, where I am majoring in Political Science and minoring in History.
I am hoping that the public will help in my plea for assistance. I recently became ineligible for financial Aid at Texas State University and am hoping to raise funds so that I may pay off my loan from this past summer ($3662.60) and assist me in paying for my Spring 2014 Tuition ($3758).
I have only FOUR, yes that’s right, 4, classes left to graduate. They will be four courses within the Department of History at the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University in San Marcos.
If I am able to get through this HUGE financial obstacle, I will become thefirst in my family, both from Mexico and the United States, to complete college and receive a Bachelor of Arts.
You may be asking why I am ineligible for aid and why I am pursing this course of action. Well everything treks back to my first year as a full-time college student, and unfortunately the effects of the recession hit home. My mom was laid off from the University of Texas after working there more than 25 years, and I lost my hours at work as a result of major budget cuts. With two younger brothers still struggling through the same path I went through middle and high school, I made the difficult decision to come back home, put my dreams aside, and help my family during these very tough time!
Having to leave school did some psychological damage and led towards sending me down a path where I was very lost, but we have managed to hold on by a thread.
My mom saw her opportunity and decided to go back to school and is now a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, studying Bilingual Education, while my brother, Lance Corporal Eric, is stationed at Camp Pendleton, California and serving with the United States Marine Corp, and leaving my youngest brother, Rick, now a sophomore at Reagan High School, having just won an award with the Business Professionals of America.
Unfortunately my withdrawals from the Springs of 2010 and 2013, when my family went through the pinnacle of financial issues, has forced me to no longer be eligible for grants, even though I have qualified to be a Pell Grant Recipient the entire time since high school graduation.
My dreams are to graduate with my Bachelor of Arts- Political Science and apply to graduate school immediately after. I feel as if I have learned many lessons and now know how to function in case of emergencies such as the one that affected my family and I. I am a much stronger person than ever and the determination I have for finishing college is something unknown to most.
I hope to return to my old neighborhood in the future, and bring about my experiences, my knowledge, my connections, and my expertise in organization skills to better the community as I did grow up in the Rundberg area of North Austin, on the news daily for heinous crimes, and known for its extreme poverty and low opportunities as many in the community are immigrants from third-world countries.
I have been council president of many organizations such as LULAC, and have devoted my time to assisting Breakthrough Austin, a non-profit organization with a mission to send low-income and first generations on their path to college. I am now returning the favor and hope to show them with my graduation from college my devotion for education.
I even had the chance to come out on a TV commercial with Austin Community College during my tenure there as a Early College Start student! (View here: I Am ACC-Manuel Muñoz)
I have managed to escape the pits of poverty by attaining my education. While I am certainly not swimming in cash, I am rich and abundant in knowledge in many matters. Please assist me, please help me get through this final lap of this very long race. In the end, my graduating from Texas State University will not only be a benefit for myself, but my friends, family, neighbors, community, city, and society.
Allow me the opportunity to give back. Please help me graduate!
Please help me on my path towards walking the stage at Texas State University on Saturday, May 10, 2014, 2:00 p.m. at the Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos!!!
You can check out his story and donate at http://www.gofundme.com/Graduation2014.