People expect you to have a job. Because I don't have one, that I consider my job to be school that disqualifies me for charity or support in the eyes of some people. People assume that I'm refusing to work not understanding that school is work, the rule of thumb is for every credit hour enrolled add two to three hours. So, my 13 hours is 39 hours a week, if you add in my extracurricular, Senate, HSA, SSC, and PTK, then I'm around 44 hours a week spent working on school.
There are so many people I know who are in similar course loads or often being in honors it feels like everyone else is taking so much more than myself. A lot, not all of the people I know in school also have jobs, sometimes more than one.
There are so many levels of guilt, shame, and frustrations having to overcome the hurdle of lack of employment. However, the more I learn during my education the more research I find that offers some relief.
According to numerous sources having a job doesn't always help relieve food and housing insecurities, in fact with the current policies often times being employed adversely limits the availability of many resources (Maroto; Goldrick-Rab et al.).
Maya Marato wrote a study Food Insecurity Among Community College Students: Prevalence and Relationship to GPA, Energy, and Concentration, it revealed that over half of the community college student respondents were food insecure (56%). Her concluding recommendations suggested that more students be made aware of the risks of food insecurities to increase their chances of academic success in college.
Further, Marato recommends that “Colleges should seek to provide students with information regarding food assistance programs and low-cost meal planning. Community college Offices of Student Life, Student Services or Counseling Services could be more involved in pointing students toward existing community programs and resources.”
I am a Student Senator and have through my struggle managed to achieve these positions that allow me to work directly with all the parties recommended in Marato’s recommendations. However, because I too am also representative of the students in need, I can’t afford to complete my project that I’ve begun for my composition II honors contract the way I feel that it should be done.
What I have created is a unique, handcrafted, sustainable publication that in theory would generate the funds to pay for its creation and generate funds to expand print yield and distribution while creating awareness for Food Insecurity, JCCC Foundation, Sustainability, myself, JCCC Faculty and Staff.
Reason for request is to make 5-10 copies of the “me.poor.&.LFK: A Lawrence, Kansas Zine Scholarship Gift Box.” The Scholarship Gift Box is a promotional copy of “me.poor.&.LFK” that is made entirely by hand and includes extras such as, the Scholarship Cover Print, wood carving cover print, limited in number(s), signed & dated. The extras and handmade features are used to increase the value of the item(s) through the scarcity principle, if there aren’t many of them in existence, along with the time it took to create them should drive the value up enough to cover all costs associated in the creation as well as the future production costs for the higher run zine.
The costs for the creation of this proposal haven’t been tracked because of the mental toll poverty plays on spending money on an idea that lacks development. Also, tracking would prove difficult since much of the materials were given through donations or other undocumented methods.
However, I have a philosophy toward costs and have made an effort to follow it during most of the development process, worry about the costs later, if I absolutely have to spend money and there isn’t any other way to go around it, then I spend the money pbecause I trust the process and vision. That said, I am very poor and my ability to spend is still very limited, so my views on costs are very different than even the most frugal norms. Further, I am not concerned with money on this project. My goal is awareness. I want to bring awareness to the individuals who wouldn’t be concerned with the true actual cost of the product. They’re the ones who can afford to help me bring awareness and change to my cause of poverty and education.
I do have some immediate costs that I can’t afford to cover on my own and need to ask for donations. I need $350 for purchasing ISBN numbers and a couple of barcodes so I can legitimize my zine, which I should add already has deals in place for not only publication, but distribution. By getting a block of 10 ISBNs I effectively become a publisher, that gives me the ability to make “me.poor.&.LFK” into a publication that could legitimize and publish a lot of great writers in need of a legitimate credit on their resume, even if only one were ever produced.
Beyond that, I still don’t have any concrete numbers for specifics for donations or funding. I am playing it all on it will all work out and be done when it’s done just the way that it needs to be. I think like that, pray, and so far it all keeps working out and looking good (minus all the personal hardships that drove the heartthrob and content of the story and my mission).
III. What is “me.poor.&.LFK”?
A book or zine comprised in three parts: Part one, “me” is my personal narrative. It is my story, all the bits of experience from the past as well as current issues and views which I then fold into the research of my topic on poverty. Part two, “poor” is my research paper on food insecurity. Part three, “LFK” is my community that I call home, in this case “LFK” stands for Lawrence Friggan Kansas, but LFK could just as easily be JCCC, or Kansas, or USA, or Global. Part three is an example on how someone can write about their experiences in life, both good and bad, then give it meaning through education and creativity. Part three also is an example of that old saying, “take what you love and figure out a way to make money doing it.” I still am trying to learn how to love myself, but I do love the people who have supported me and the people who like me that I am advocating for, so even though I will likely never make a personal dime from this project, I hope that through it a lot of students in need do.
IV. Scholarship Cover Print:
Includes: (1) book (papers part one and two); (1) notebook - handmade with information on how to write a personal narrative and include relevant research. The goal to get readers to submit their work and in turn make the publication sustainable; (1) used Palomino Blackwing or Bicolor pencil stub – The idea behind this being the creative tool used in much of its creation, its fancy, it’s been well used, and a unique personal gift from myself; and (1) woodblock carved “scholarship cover print.”
V. Future Goals:
- Create a charity for food insecure students
- Use this work to persuade JCCC to join the CUFBA
- Promote Sustainability
- Create national awareness for the personal stories behind the statistics to obtain public support
- Purchase a black of 10 ISBN Numbers and barcodes to further legitimize the effort and increase participation
- Finish the Proposal so that I can get the ball rolling!