Hello all, my name is Karina Barbosa. I had the privileged of growing up in a small (now huge) town of Gilbert, AZ. I am not sure how to describe myself, some may say humble, others may say goofy; however I know for a fact that I am proud of where I am today.
Growing up I always pictured myself doing great, something scholarly. I would read my Harry Potter books late at night and study the vocabulary within the book. I love to write and I absolutely love learning! Growing up, my family's financial situation was strained. Although we remained comfortable, we always had to budget right to make end's meet. My mother lost her battle with cancer when I was only 7 years old and shortly after, my father left home. My grandmother had the difficult choice of raising 3 young children while being almost 80 years old. She provided her love and social security check to provide us the essentials to live. While in high school I became discouraged of attending college. I mean, $5500 per semester at the University of Arizona? There's no way I could afford that and I could never burden my grandmother of financially supporting me. It seemed impossible to achieve this dream.
Then one day, my boyfriend (now fiance) pushed me into sitting down with a financial aid team member.I learned about the FAFSA application and the possibility of grants. I also learned about loans...my what a glorious but twisted agreement for a naive 19 year old. After applying to Pima Community College and pursuing my Associate's of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology, I decided in order to live comfortably and focus on school I must borrow financial aid wisely. While the loans began piling up, I began to really put money aside for my future repayments. I also took advantage of SALT's MyMoney101 to teach me how to budget and the material really opened my eyes on how much students can spend on simply things like food and leisure items! Soon after, I opened a savings account set aside for emergencies and other situations that may be hefty.
My financial success story is still ongoing as I am almost finished with the Veterinary Technician program. I have a part-time job to also supplement by finances so I do not have to ask for more loans that'll have to be paid in the near future. I am proof that even if a student does not have too much money to attend college, it really IS possible! I want this message to help encourage young adults to borrow wisely. Loans can really add up quickly if you are not careful! With the help of SALT and budgeting right, I live in a house, have a car and can provide for my animals when in need. If someone were to tell me this would be my life at 22, I would've never believed how easy this could be! I am proud to say I am a Financial Aid Success Story! And hopefully after reading my hardships, you can be one too!