One year ago I chronicled the story of ny oldest son, Michael Jr.,who went from being diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school, to completing his masters degree in special education at Regent University. Today however, he is still not licensed to teach, and may be in jeopardy of losing that degree.
Shortly before my son walked across the stage at Regent University, he applied for grad school. He was approved, and his student loans and pell grants went through. His tuition paid and the remaining funds put in his account as was always done.
Unaware that there was any problem, Michael used a portion of his funds so that his father and I could attend his graduation. Not long after however, he was told that one of the classes he signed up for, was not available during the summer. His grants and loans were revoked, and Michael had to repay the money he received before he could continue his education, or receive his actual degree..
Today because of interest and penalties that debt is $6300.00. Michael sent emails, made phone calls, and traveled twice to Virginia Beach to work out a solution. It was all to no avail. He was told that if the debt is not paid within the year, he will not be able to take a test that would qualify him to teach. He could lose his credits, and have to start over. In addition, as long as he owes this debt, he cannot do what is necessary to become licensed to teach special education students..
At present he is working as a library assistant, plus 2 additionl jobs, making about 1/3rd the money he would as a teacher. And he is not yet helping learning disabled students like himself. His sister set up a Go fund me account, and shared his story on Facebook, with the local newspaper and one television station, in hopes that the money could be raised.
My daughter had seen the outpouring of support for other needs on go fun de and believed her brother would be no different. To date my son has one $5.00 donation, courtesy of me. A reporter from the local paper said that his own degree was held up because of parking tickets. he said Michael’s story did not have enough outrage value and he wished my son luck.
I have watched the children of family and friends, go through graduate school, without a hitch. Michael has pushed far past what was expected of him, but is still short of his goal. I share his story because I know he is not the only one dealing with hindrances. hope in detailing his tenacity and desire not to quit that someone else will be encouraged..
I had thought I would at this time be sharing how my son was giving back to the community, by teaching. I wanted his testimony to encourage others. Today I cannot say that. I can only pray that during this next year, I will write the story I thought I would be sharing today.
I continue to believe my son will obtain the funds to pay off his debt, and will obtain proper certification, and become the teacher he desires. He has come so far to give up now. it would be a share for him to lose what he has obtained. Until we experienced this,I had no idea that such things were possible.
The officials at Regent say they are bound by federal guidelines.The local school system is bound by state requirements for certification.If nothing else, my son’s saga shows that our government, which is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people, puts laws into effect that hurt the people.
If you don’t believe this, just consider the 2 million Americans who worked hard, and had money taken from their checks for unemployment insurance, and now the government denies the access to that which they deserve.