400 California students got a special surprise this week when some anonymous donors put up funds to pay off their student loan debt. They were working along with a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, Students Rising Above (SRA). The purpose of the donation was to wipe the slate clean and eliminate their student loan debt. SRA CEO Elizabeth Devaney informed the students of the surprise during a Zoom meeting.
The students who were on the call were so excited that they were laughing and crying. Some of them were even dancing! Included among them was a student named Kimberly Armstrong, who had some $300,000 in law school debt. She said, “I’m shocked… I almost don’t believe it.”
Alsidneio Bell is an SRA alumni and software developer who said he was, “In awe! Flabbergasted! Taken aback…” Bell thought that his $55,000 student loan debt would stick with him for the rest of his life.
There is no doubt that the anonymous gift is going to change the lives of the graduates for the better.
“We are able to provide them now some financial freedom to make decisions,” said Contreras-Townsend. “In their careers that really speak to their heart.”
Dr. Zachary Tabb is a former SRA scholar and a Global Pediatric Health Resident Physician at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. When he graduated from medical school two years ago, he had accumulated $160,000 worth of debt.
lives, but on the contributions they can make to society.”
It is the hope of Contreras-Townsend that the donations will help the students to have peace of mind. That is especially true as they are struggling to find work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“God Bless you,” said Armstrong. “Definitely, God bless you. I thank you abundantly for even thinking about students like us.”
You can watch the Zoom call here:
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