Hello, my name is Erin and I am a high school science teacher.
I’ve had some bad luck in life since college and at this point I need to work my teaching job and multiple part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. Forget about building up an emergency savings account or even focusing on my passion which is seeing my students succeed, all I do is work, sleep and eat. Sometimes I can’t even find much time for sleeping and eating.
I am suffering from depression which makes things even more difficult because I cannot commit to a part time job with a set schedule due to fatigue so that limits me to Uber and gigs from Craigslist.
I followed the path set out for me by my parents and guidance counselors: go to college and get a degree. I never questioned them because they said that was right for me.
But when I graduated in 2010 the economy was in the worst shape since the Great Depression and there were no jobs to be had but plenty of student loan debt. I worked a job outside of my field before deciding to go back to graduate school.
I moved from NJ to Orlando to pursue my PhD but the program was completely lacking in mentorship so I could not complete any of my research duties since no one would teach me how to operate the instruments. I racked up further debt from that and when I exited the program still had trouble finding a job so I had to start using my credit cards for bills.
I finally got a job as a high school teacher. Finally I felt like I had found something that I was meant to do. There is no better feeling than seeing a student who has been working so hard have that breakthrough moment where everything clicks for them! Unfortunately when you don’t have a teaching degree you have to pay for your temporary certificate, hundreds of dollars of tests, thousands in tuition for extra college courses and then at the end you have to cough up another $200 for your official certificate.
All of the costs of becoming a teacher had to go on my credit cards. At this point I am so in the hole with my credit cards that when I pay them I have no money left and have to use the credit cards for necessities like groceries and gas which then puts me further in the hole.
Everyone suggests that I find a higher paying job that uses my Chemistry degree but they don’t understand that teaching is a calling. Once you hear this call you can’t just drop your students because you need more money.
I currently have over $40k in credit card debt and $70k in student loans and I only make $40k per year as a teacher and I do not get paid over the summers. If I could get even just $2000 or $5000 to pay off 1 or 2 cards that would be the jumpstart I need to get on track so I can be less stressed and depressed and just focus on my teaching career and my students which is my passion!
Thank you for reading and anything you can do to support!