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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

Reflecting on National Disability Employment Awareness 2021

 Last month ended another National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This years theme focused on “America’s Recovery Powered by Inclusion”. In light of COVID ensuring that PWDs have access to the workplace is a pertinent issue among those with disabilities. Prior to COVID the fight for workplace accommodations was an ongoing one that limited access within the work environment. 

Figure 1: This is a map surrounded by people with various disabilities with the words “America’s Recovery Powered by Inclusion NDEAM” on a red background. 

I can imagine the shock for most PWDs when accommodations that were previously denied were quickly approved and immediately put into place during the pandemic. Things like remote and hybrid work could have been in place much sooner than 2021. With many stigmas surrounding those with disabilities and the workforce the month of October is meant to combat these incorrect beliefs by recognizing the many contributions to that PWDs make towards the workplace. 

Figure 2: This is a photo that says "Accommodations" on a white sign with a blue sky in the background.


Since we’re on the topic let’s address some of those stigmas. Incorrect beliefs like individuals with disabilities don’t want to work, would rather stay home and collect benefits, and should not be paid fair wages based on their disability status are micro-aggressive offensive fallacies. In fact, the Department  of Labor found that employees who hired PWDs saw a 90% retention rate among this population! While October is behind us now, NDEAM principles should be observed every month.


Figure 3: This is a photo of someone's head with the word "stigmas" in red letters with  blue, red, and yellow buttons directly above it. 


Resources like the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) are here to assist employers in providing equitable work interactions for PWDs. Most accommodations have little to no financial impact on the employer. In addition, things like being aware of disability terminology, creating a safe space, and providing work life balance are not only free but things that we can all benefit from. What are your thoughts on NDEAM? Have you faced any stigmas in the workplace? Any advice you have for others? Drop down in the comments and let me know! For more information be sure to check out my latest video below!

Figure 4: This is a photo that reads "JAN: Job Accommodation Network" on a blue background


SUBSCRIBE: National Disability Employment Awareness 2021

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