A Little Help From My Friends

04.23.10

In the Autumn of 1971 I was about a year and a half old. My parents had just moved to Hollywood, and my mom started making friends at Pointsettia Park. Marie’s mom was one of handful of women who we kids would only recognize by the backs of their heads.

For the next thirty nine years our mothers would gather ’round circular tables in one another’s kitchen or dining room and chat over coffee, tea, heavy cheeses and, in the evenings, wine. They were married women, some of them, but the friendships were about the Moms, and us kids would play together. We became as close as our mothers had, loving each other no matter what.

My first friend, Marie, who I met in the park in 1971. My friend who I didn’t choose, much like family, my friend who was chosen for me, needs your help.

MarieĀ  left college at 21, there was a big event that kept her from being able to continue her studies. It is personal, but it’s a good reason (as most are).

Fast forward almost twenty years, and Marie re-enrolls at one of the California State Schools. She is an excellent student even though she is juggling a very difficult degree program with working full time, a husband, and two children. They budget their time and their money, college will be a stretch for them, but with some financial aid (mostly in the form of loans) it is doable and it is a good investment for the entire family.

California State Tuition increases at a lightening pace, Marie smiles and, “keeps on chugging forward” (her words not mine). Marie applies for a little bit more in the way of loans, and she is denied.

Marie has been a student too long, and is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. This is crippling news. If Marie doesn’t finish her degree (not going to happen) her other loans come due immediately. Marie, and her family of four, have made huge sacrifices and she is not prepared to walk away without the degree.

Here’s where I need your help. If Marie spends hours and days scouring the internet for smaller student loans, grants, and scholarships she won’t have enough time to do what’s in front of her. Marie was hoping y’all could help.

I know my audience is diverse so we’re asking you to help lay a path so Marie can do the footwork. Please use the comment section to post links to any lesser known scholarships, loans or grants that you may know of. If they are specific to state, we are in California. Marie is working towards a design degree in Landscape Architecture at a Public University. She is a working mom and a married lady.

I’m asking you, because this is family for me, please share your knowledge. We need help.