Most people don’t think college students struggle with hunger. And most college students are good at hiding their hunger. But for me hunger has become a prevalent issue. I go to K-State and this opportunity to go to college is the dream my dad has for all of his children. It’s why he moved us here from Mexico. With parents that have done nothing but give, it is impossible to feel comfortable asking for more. After some time at K-State, I left my job at the bank and returned home because college had become too expensive. When I came back to school I knew I had to find help.
I am the first generation from my family to go to college. Because I am not a citizen of this country, I am not eligible for scholarships, grants, or certain loans. My parents are paying for all of my college, as well as the rest of my siblings’ education. I have a younger brother who is a freshman in high school. He has trips and activities that cost money. I want him to have these experiences and to be able to have enough money to go. Knowing my parents’ large financial burden, I try to not ask too much of them because they already do so much for me.
Returning to K-State I have not been able to find another job because I do not have a work visa. Still, I have a lot of expenses. I am an education major and weekly travel from Manhattan to Ft. Riley for field experience and the gas costs add up. I have been running behind on my electric payments, while still needing to keep fueling my car, and my responsibilities have been starting to add up.
Food has fallen farther down on my priority list. It has been difficult to swallow my pride and actually admit that I need help, let alone actually ask for it. At the Breadbasket they not only help me with food once a week but have also connected me with a company that sets up payment plans for my bills. I am now working part time and doing the best I can financially. Without the Breadbasket and other resources I wouldn’t be making the progress that I am now. I can’t wait to graduate and teach on the East Coast knowing that my determination brought me to that place.
As told to Brady Heidrick