Will for Welfare

“Those who have had nothing know what it feels like… and they’re not scared of it.”

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Transcript for Will for Welfare

The most poor people in the world are the most generous people. Because those who have had nothing, know what it feels like to have nothing and they’re not scared of it. But those who have always had something are scared of having nothing. Which isn’t their fault if they’ve just always been there, like if they’ve always been middle class or upper class, they’ve never had nothing–of course, you’re going to be scared of it; they don’t know how to deal with it. But those who have had nothing, we’re okay with it. We’re okay with it because we’d rather help somebody than have something for ourself.

It’s called a Will for Welfare, my foundation is a Will for Welfare. I started it because like last semester I was thinking about how I’d gotten to Valpo. And I got to Valpo because I graduated with two diplomas and academic honors and a technical honors. Kind of went to a technical program. And it was an expensive technical program, like we had to have two pairs of scrubs, they were forty dollars each. A pair of new white shoes, that’s like sixty bucks. Our state test was seventy five. Our CPR was twenty five. And I was also graduating, so we had to pay for our cap and gowns. Then we had to pay for transportation sometimes. It was really hard, so I had to ask for money a lot. And like we didn’t have it so I had to borrow it. And so I was like, well, I want to help kids exactly like me. I want them to do exactly what I did. And so I started it up, and Will for Welfare it funds the technical education of social service recipients in the United States to break the poverty cycle.

Well, I started off by emailing Barb Crumpacker-Niedner and Nancy Scannell, and I was like, Hey, I had this idea, like how do I do it? And I got referred to the Career Center. And I also got referred to Elizabeth Lynn. And they both referred me to a bunch of people to talk to, so I talked to John Groth, I talked to McKenna from United Way, I talked to Opportunity Enterprises, I talked to Housing Opportunities, I talked to the Center for Workforce Innovations, I talked to the Chamber of Commerce, the Scoreboard. I talked to all these people, and they were telling me what I needed to do, like all these things I need to set up first, all these ideas I need to fulfill before I could even start anything, and because they weren’t actually telling me what I needed to do, I looked it up online. And I was like, Oh! Okay, like, this doesn’t sound too bad.

And I could have just filed all the paperwork myself but I was like, it’ll seem better if I have a lawyer. So I went to a law clinic and I went and met with Paul Kohlhoff, and he gave me this paper and he starts talking and I was like, Wait, wait, wait. I know exactly what needs to be done and I have it all done, I just need you to tell me if I did it right.

So he assigned me a lawyer. She’s actually graduating now. Her name is Kimberly G_____. She’s helped us do a lot of the process officially, so it’s not just like students trying to fill out 501c3 paperwork, which we actually just mailed out. I went through and I found every school in Indiana, and I went to every single website and I emailed every single guidance counselor with this scholarship application. So it’s there at the schools and they can apply for it.

The typical funding is about… is going to be around two hundred dollars per student because I have a list of what supplies would cost. And it ranges from like fifty to like a hundred and seventy five. So it’s open, people can apply for it. People who are going to get funded for next semester to go into these technical programs because if they’re in school and their parent’s institution will pay their tuition to go to a technical center.

The motivation to be able to do this is the only reason I still even bother to stay in school. It’s really hard to balance it because I have so much schoolwork and so I work so many hours, so basically what happens is I work on weekends now. I work all weekend. So I don’t do any homework then. And if I don’t have to turn in my homework, I don’t do it. But if I have to turn it in, I do it. Because it’s kind of like a priority based. So I have to meet the deadlines for my foundation, I meet the homework deadlines, and then I go to work. And I try to work as many hours as possible.

I’m aspiring to be just a helping person, I guess. Even if I help just one person in my life, that’s my goal. I just want to help people. I’m so excited. I can’t wait, I can’t wait to get someone to apply.