Well, being innovative is certainly a good quality for furthering one's education!
Emily Stutz, 18, is a hardworking senior at Lowell High School in Lowell, MA. But despite maintaining a 4.0 grade point average for all four years, working two jobs, and applying for every scholarship offered through her school, she recently realized something shocking: She STILL wasn't going to able to afford to go to college.
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“It became apparent to me that it was going to be difficult to fund my education when I got my financial aid letters,” Stutz told ABC News today. “I kind of prepared myself for the worst, but when I got my letters it was rough.”
With the deadline to commit to a school coming up, Stutz joked with her family that she would need to stand in the street and ask for the $20,000 to $30,000 a year she needed to pay for school--but then, she actually tried it.
Emily Stutz applied for every scholarship offered through her high school, worked two jobs, and maintained a 4.0... https://t.co/wuvMDANkTH— Payton's Pledge (@PaytonsPledge) April 19, 2016
Emily Stutz applied for every scholarship offered through her high school, worked two jobs, and maintained a 4.0... https://t.co/wuvMDANkTH
Last week, Stutz made a sign that read “H.S. SENIOR NO $ for College Anything Helps” and stood outside a local Target store for three hours on two consecutive days. The enterprising--though totally offbeat--effort actually earned her about $600.
“I had a lot of people come up to me and give me an overwhelming amount of support,” said Stutz afterward. “Some people made negative comments and told me to get a job, but the good outweighed the bad so much that it didn’t even matter.”
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Stutz has also raised another $16,000 from a GoFundMe page she created last Thursday.
“I can’t believe how quickly this has picked up,” she said. “I received support from all over the country. They believe in me so much and I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Though Stutz will not continue panhandling, as "there are people that need that money even more than me," she is happy to bring attention to the problem of college affordability in the U.S.
And, if you're wondering, she plans on majoring in pre-med psychology. Good luck, Emily!