Kudos to the three winners of StudentDebtCrisis.org’s #OutWithStudentDebt Video Project—an initiative designed to help shed the stigma of shame and embarrassment that comes along with the burden of student loan debt. The winners will be awarded $500 each, representing an average monthly student loan bill.
Nearly sixty video testimonials were submitted, highlighting a cross-section of young Americans who, too often, feel voiceless and powerless when it comes to their education debts.
One winning video, submitted by the New Olivet Baptist Church in Tennessee, features an entire congregation coming out with their collective $1.4 Million in student loan debt. “We made the video because we wanted to highlight the educational attainment in our congregation, and at the same time call attention to the cost of achievement, hoping that along with organizations like StudentDebtCrisis.org, we can demand changes to the way education is funded in our country,” said Dr. Denise Lofton of the New Olivet Baptist Church. She continued, “the prize money will support our efforts to inform students on ways to manage student debt, options for repayment and methods of searching for money for school.”
Jacquelynn Lethridge of Alameda, California, explained her motivation for submitting her winning video, saying: “I created this video because I was tired of hiding behind the embarrassment of my private student loan debt. It not only affects me, but thousands of other alumni. Our voices need to be heard on this issue!”
Jane Moody of Pearl City, Hawaii, “wanted to give student debt a face. Even with public service loan forgiveness, with the private loans I had to take out, I have no hope of these loans ever being fully paid off before I die.”