Dear David A. Black Hearing Impaired Scholarship committee,
As of August 1st, 2016 I will be relocating to Washington, DC and will begin my studies in Masters of Arts in Public Administration program at Gallaudet University. Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts university in the world for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I’m really excited about starting a new chapter in my life and to moving up in my career. Masters of Public Administration program at Gallaudet would unlock doors of opportunities and enable me to become a leader for the Deaf community.
The path to getting a Master’s in Public Administration had an interesting detour; I had intended to go to law school. While this intention was never fulfilled, it helped me to provide a solid background of knowledge that would ultimately benefit me in life. I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona with a background in criminology and gender studies in 2009. My extracurricular activities included being on a Student Advisory Board, member of Phi Alpha Delta (a pre-law fraternity), Women Leadership Training Institute and participated in countless mock trials. It was not until I took up Planning for Law School and Related Careers course during my last semester that got me thinking about the realities of law school and the diminishing employment prospects of those with a law degree. That course ultimately persuaded me that law school wasn’t for me. After I graduated from the University, I work at Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind, I was placed in a classroom with high school students who, in addition to being deaf, also had developmental disabilities. On my first day on the job, I met a student who instantly became the foremost influential person in my life. She lost her left leg due to complications from premature birth, and is deafblind. She inspired me to become a better person. She inspired me to give back to the community. She also inspired me to seek better opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
While I am excited about this opportunity of going to graduate school and getting an advanced degree, I am now in the most anxiety-producing part of the getting accepted into program process and that is how I am going to pay for moving expenses and for schooling? My parents will help me with paying for the moving expenses but I’m pretty much on my own when it comes to paying for school. The cost of attendance for graduate program at Gallaudet University is $20,410 a year and this includes health insurance fee. Upon admitting, a full time student is required to have a health insurance and the fee can be waived if I show a proof I have insurance. I have ACCCHS, a state Medicaid that provide health coverage because I have a very low income however because this form of coverage is likely to require far more planning and coordination on my part to seek coverage within my home state. I have an asthma and also have chronic bronchitis. In additional to having these, I also have a cochlear implant that helps me to hear and to be aware of my surrounding. If I get sick with a bronchitis or if my cochlear implant processor is having an issue while I am at Gallaudet, it’s very likely that I will not be covered for treatments with the insurance I have and I will be paying for cost of care out of my pocket. Because of this, it’s very likely that I will be opt in Gallaudet’s health insurance plan. In additional, I’m planning on living on campus as seeing that it would be easier for me to get to classes and meeting with people from my program. The cost for a room and board would cost me $6,602 per semester. That is $13,204 dollars for a year. In overall, the cost of attendance includes room and board would be $33,614 a year.
Recently, I was awarded a $3,000 dollars tuition scholarship from the faculty in the Department of Government and Public Affairs at Gallaudet University. I’m very thrilled and very thankful to have received this award because I know every bit counts, but it’s also not enough because I don’t want to have to take out student loans. I’ve also seek an assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation in Tucson but to no avail because I was told that Vocational Rehabilitation will only pay for a bachelor’s degree and nothing more since the goal of program is to make me employable and not attain a higher degree. I’m planning on to participate in work study program at Gallaudet and work part time at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School for the Deaf as a classroom aide to pay for school and for cost of living expenses.
Acquiring Hearing Impaired Scholarship from the Law Offices of David A. Black would help me to cover the amount that I need for academic expenses. Acquiring a MPA degree from Gallaudet would open to the door of possibilities for me and allow me to give back and making a significant impact to my community. Give me the opportunity to inspire like I was inspired.
Thank you for your consideration.
Catherine E. S