I am seeking assistance financially to help with purchasing a commuter bicycle to help with a career transition.
I am 28 years old, queer, nonbinary, and come from an abusive family background. My family did the best they could, suffering from their own traumas and focusing on surviving. In my own ancestry research after the death of my last grandparent in November of 2021, I have learned I come from Italian immigrants fleeing poverty and no economic outlook. They came to America for a better life, and I am only the third generation descended. They immigrated in 1920, just before the Great Depression.
When I was young, I was great in school, and it was an ample distraction from what was going on at home. When high school was nearing it’s end for me, college was emphasized as the way to make “real” money in the world. I was encouraged by teachers, administrators, and even my own family members, as I would be a first generation college student. I took out student loans, finished college and even went further on for a Master’s degree to be “marketable”. Now, I am in immense student debt that I can’t pay back any time soon, suffering with income challenges and needing a shift. I was an 18 year old child, with no financial help from anyone else singing up for loans thinking I would be rewarded a great life on the other side. I have struggled immensely since, paycheck to paycheck, a single income earner in a field not known for it’s pay, and trying to keep up with my peers. I have worked independently to build myself to where I am today, thought it was a challenge.
Even though I was surviving, I was no where prepared for any sort of disruption, and my financial situation was thrown off course by the pandemic. I lost a job in 2020, and in 2021, asked for a raise when I needed help to keep my bills paid, and was simply never responded to by my companies owner. He since sold the company, and I am making less than I did at any point in my life. I now work so hard and receive well below what I used to. I have lost my car, made sacrifices to maintain a budget, and borrowed money from friends that I can’t pay back any time soon.
I currently work as a mental health therapist. I enjoy what I do and am damn good at it. As I continue in my own therapy and healing, I am learning that it is a job that monetizes my own wounds. I intend to maintain it part time but need to shift away from relying on it primarily.
Back to my ancestors. I am named after my maternal grandfather. He built the house my mother and aunts and uncles grew up in. My grandmother stayed in that house until she died last year. It is now being sold and no one in the family can buy it to keep it in the family. I am wanting to switch gears and being an apprenticeship in carpentry. I want to work with my hands, learn a new skill, and have stability financially as well as in retirement planning, and a union job can provide that. I want to complete a project my grandfather started with this new skill. I want to step back from over extending my emotional self, and help others while not harming myself.
I am here asking for assistance in purchasing a commuter bicycle to assist with transportation to work sites in the area. I can not rely on public transportation alone to maintain a changing work site scenario. This is only until I can purchase a car again when my finances stabilize.
Any help is greatly appreciated, and I thank you for taking the time to read my story.