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I have been SponsorChange.org's online brand advocate for well over a year. We have had a long-lasting partnership for 2+ years. They continue to support my work and efforts, and I have done the same for them - it is a wonderful testament to the non-profit world, i.e, you find great people doing wonderful things.
Of course, we are all adults here, and we also know that the non-profit world, just like the business world, can be ugly and mean. People can be, in my view, unusually jealous in the non-profit sector, and petty. But people in general can be like that.
Luckily, there are so many groups out there, like SponsorChange and my new company, EduLender, who are committed to making a difference. (EduLender is doing it in the private sector, which continues to amaze me, as does the CEO of the company). That is why I always appreciate it when Raymar Hampshire, SponsorChange's CEO and Co-Founder, gives me a quick thumb's up on my FB page when I've written a piece he likes. For instance, when he learned that I had an article published by USAToday, he wanted to have it posted on SponsorChange's great blog, the Philanthroteer (I've been a top contributing writer for them, too).
I am so excited to see that CNN covered their org today. Raymar had mentioned the filming and interviewing with CNN a few weeks ago by phone (when I was up meeting the great gang at EduLender in Chicago). It wasn't a done deal, so he told me then.
I don't normally get choked up by people's stories. That's a lie. I do get choked up a lot, but that is usually when the story is heartbreaking, like the recent conversation I had with a mother whose daughter is now a quadriplegic. The daughter was in a devastating car wreck that broke her body. Even worse, her daughter also owes $80,000 in student loans, and they're being terrorized by their lender. That got me really choked up, especially when she told me that she recently listened to her husband cry on the phone to some nasty collector. I nearly lost it. It reminded me of my own father. I adore him, and when he cries, I lose it.
In the clip that features SponsorChange.org, the young woman they feature isn't suffering from a health problem. Nothing of the sort. But when she starts talking about how her friends are struggling to pay back their loans, just like she is, it makes me feel heartbroken for these 'kids.' They aren't the only ones for whom I feel heartbroken. In her case, I was struck by how sad it is to think that these kids have their whole lives in front of them, and yet so many of them are despondent and hopeless because of their student loan debt. It's devastating, and it angers me to think that President Obama keeps going on and on about 'winning the future.' I think, 'oh really? For whom, President Obama? For whom?' Not us. Not these kids.
People like her shouldn't be struggling to such a degree. Student loan debt is cruel.
That is why a team of people, people who care, like SponsorChange, EduLender, AEM, etc., make all the difference. We're all acting. There's no in-fighting. There's no jealousy. We're all just trying to do something about the situation. And so, I applaud you, this evening, SponsorChange. Job well done.