"I graduated from Northwestern, but getting there wasn't easy. My two brothers and I were raised by our single, immigrant dad. I worked my tail off in high school and had to figure out, on my own, how I would get to and pay for college.
While attending University of Oregon, I was accepted to Northwestern. Being Pell-eligible, I received considerable financial aid, but not a full-ride, presenting a dilemma: forgo transferring or somehow come up with $12k a year to fill the gap. Determined, I took a year off to save and worked nine jobs while studying full-time.
I know how financial stress affects grades. I lived with the frustration of missing out on summer internships, and having to compete for job interviews with a weak resume. I hustled and fought my way to graduation with seven job offers.
Yes, I made it. But I had to hack against a system that's broken for high-achieving, low-income students. It's time for change. We built Sixup to level the playing field."
"My story starts in one of Houston's poorest neighborhoods where my 12 relatives, all refugees from Vietnam, lived in a two-bedroom apartment. While my parents worked around the clock, my grandmother raised the children and instilled in us that studying hard was the only way to achieve the American Dream.
I worked diligently and got into Duke. Unfortunately, I made an error on my FAFSA form and didn't receive financial aid. I felt my only option was to join the Army, get the G.I. Bill and try enrolling next year. My dad thought it was a good plan, but his boss advised otherwise. Adamant that I not put school off, he offered me a deal: he would pay for my tuition if I went to his alma mater, Texas A&M.
Because of one man's mentoring and generosity, I got back on track, graduated and landed a finance job in Chicago. Not every student can get as lucky I did. Sixup is how I pay it forward for the next generation of low-income, first-generation kids like me."
"I came from a single parent household and my mom had three kids by the time she was 18. She worked hard every day to give us a better life but we grew up in extreme poverty with few options. For me, college was my only way out.
I was the first in my family to go to college and was determined to finish. However, I struggled to pay for it and had to work 40-50 hours a week, every year while in school. As a result, my grades suffered and it took me over six years to earn my degree. I maxed out all my federal aid and was forced to use credit cards to cover the remaining costs of tuition and books.
This pathway forced me to make poor financial choices that took a great deal of time to overcome. I want to build a better pathway for students like me and educate them on positive financial choices. Sixup is the resource I needed when I was in school."