Dear Kevin (if I may):
Thank you for allowing me to interview you for Education Matters. So you are aware, I am an advocate for student loan debtors in the U.S. Education Matters is the place where I write about my research on the student lending crisis. I feature debtors on a regular basis, and try to stay in touch with leaders in D.C. about this issue. That is my primary focus. However, the student lending crisis intersects with all the major issues/other crises that the U.S. is facing today, i.e., stagnant wages for the lower- and middle-classes, unaffordable health care, home foreclosures, etc.
That's just a very brief introduction, so you know who I am and what I am about. So, without further adieu, let's get down to the questions.
I attended Denver Public Schools throughout Denver during the era of court-ordered desegregation. Beginning in my junior year in high school, I participated in the non-profit public health care organization Amigos de las Americas, traveling to Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Honduras to provide a variety of health care services in rural Latin America.
I started my collegiate studies at Metropolitan State College, paying for it by working part-time. Back then, tuition for a full load semester was about $250 and the minimum wage was $1.20. I graduated from Metropolitan State College in 1981 with a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Marketing. After a couple of years working I took my savings, applied for a student loan, and headed for Glendale, Arizona where I had been accepted to the American Graduate School of International Management (now the Thunderbird School of Global Management). In addition to taking out loans and relying upon my savings, I held a part-time job at Thunderbird Samaritan Hospital. I graduated from Thunderbird in 1985 with a Master’s degree in International Management. Even though the loan was modest and reasonable, I quickly discovered that I had to secure a “good,” well-paying job. I finally finished paying off my student loan six years after graduation. My loan was very modest by today's standards and the interest rate was guaranteed and reasonable.
Realistically, I hope to help residents by providing an example. Practically, I am a conduit for people and information, trying to connect problems with solutions and people with one another. Ideally, [I am a model]: providing an open mind and a wealth of experience to the very real challenges ahead.