Help paying students

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Posted: 09/01/2022 07:03:49

Modified: 09/01/2022 07:00:11

To Matt Mowers, whose callous response to the news of President Biden’s student debt relief plan was that taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize “people who just study philosophy,” I say get the facts straight. In over eight years as a volunteer on the Eleanor Campbell Benevolent Fund Scholarship Committee, I have reviewed hundreds of applications. The aspiring candidates, hailing from towns served by John Stark Regional and Hillsborough-Deering High Schools, have demonstrated their selflessness, academic discipline and achievement through a balance of good grades, often in challenging classes, to participation in sports and extracurricular activities and community services. To denigrate students’ desire to continue their education is typical Republican cynicism, but it also misrepresents these ambitious young people.

Many Campbell scholarships have gone to students whose parents are unable or unwilling to pay for their education. The hardships that some students have experienced are heartbreaking, but strengthen their determination to improve and give to others. These students aren’t looking for handouts, but they desperately need a helping hand. Many students choose careers that will pay off for the help others have given them. Fields pursued by this year’s fellows include photography/photojournalism, physical education, business and finance, engineering, radiology/anaesthesiology, nursing, psychology and counseling, dental hygiene, education, health sciences, computing, writing and media, and parks and conservation. I disagree with the timing of parts of Biden’s plan because I think it energizes naysayers and anti-democracy extremists. But the intention to partially relieve the financial stress of recent graduates deserves our support through voices and votes.

Christine The Hague

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