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My One Year Student Loan Payoff Update

  January 28, 2022 marked my one year anniversary of paying off my student loans . Reflecting back on choosing to pay off my student loans leaves me with several take a ways that I want to share with you! In September 2020 I decided to become debt free by utilizing the debt snowball method to pay off all my debt. Before this I had struggled to save and really understand basic financial principles. As a first-generation college student, I received a scholarship to attend undergrad for free, but the scholarship did not cover summers. During the summers I took out student loans to cover costs without paying interest rates or how much I was taking out. By the end of undergrad I had amassed a little under $17K. Fast forward to graduate school I received another scholarship that covered my education. At the time I was a teacher in a new very expensive city and I had missed the cutoff to have my paycheck last me throughout the summer. So, I decided to take out a loan for two summers to keep

Let's Talk About Disability Pride! (I Met One of the Producers from Crip Camp!)

 

Today is the 31st anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act and Disability Pride Month! In case you didn’t know this important civil rights law works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else (Social Media: Tweets & Posts, n.d). What a month to show your support for the disability community! This past week I attended the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) summer conference in Austin, Texas and the opening speaker was Andréa LaVant one of the producers of Crip Camp. She told her story of growing up as a Black disabled women and how it affected her. What stood out to me the most was that while she had been taught about Black pride she had never been taught about disability pride.


Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video “Let’s Talk about Disability Pride” with a black colored fist that reads Support Disability Rights.


As a former Special Education teacher I remember talking about famous disabled men and women with my students but thinking back I wish I would have done this on a more regular basis versus just during the typical themed months. What does disability pride even mean? Much like any other pride themed month disability pride focuses on individuals with disabilities being given the freedom to feel self-confident, self-respect, and self-love regarding their disability. Many time our culture leads us to believe that PWDs (people with disabilities) need to be fixed. This is an inappropriate view that needs to be done away with as PWDs do not need to be fixed and are as capable as their nondisabled peers although it may look different than the “average” person.

 


Figure 2: This is a photo with a blue, green, yellow, red, and purple zigzag line that reads “The future is inclusive, Happy Disability Pride Month”.

How can we encourage disability pride in the students that we serve? Andréa spoke about knowing our history and cultivating community. Knowing our history gives us a sense of belonging and provides needed information to encourage us all on our various journeys. Cultivating community helps us to broaden our view of the world and discuss hard topics so that we can all contribute to making a change. Specifically this may look like advocating for PWDS regarding voter suppression by contacting your local government to inform them that things like banning drive through voting and limiting absentee ballots will negatively affect PWDs. I’ll also be doing an informative write-up and video on this topic soon!


How can we encourage disability pride in the students that we serve? Andréa spoke about knowing our history and cultivating community. Knowing our history gives us a sense of belonging and provides needed information to encourage us all on our various journeys. Cultivating community helps us to broaden our view of the world and discuss hard topics so that we can all contribute to making a change. Specifically this may look like advocating for PWDS regarding voter suppression by contacting your local government to inform them that things like banning drive through voting and limiting absentee ballots will negatively affect PWDs. I’ll also be doing an informative write-up and video on this topic soon!

 

Figure 3: This is a photo of me and Andréa LaVant and her service dog Goji. I am wearing a pink skirt and white top and she is wearing white pants a pink top with brown jacket while sitting in her powered chair. Goji has on a blue service vest and has light brown hair.

 

How do you celebrate Disability Pride? Have you ever heard of it? What are your thoughts on voter suppression against PWDs? Drop down in the comments and let me know and check out my latest YouTube video on Disability Pride!

 

SUBSCRIBE: Disability Pride




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