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Marcela commented on On the Way to School

Thanks for your comment Ashif. There are many resources that only some have at their disposal that make it possible for them to attend school. When we're thinking of creative ways to pay for college I can't help but think of accessibility as well, and how this can be an impediment for some students regardless of our solution- that is unless we take it into account as part of the research process

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Marcela commented on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Hi Bettina, thanks for your feedback! A program/scholarship like the one you suggest is a great example to pay back the loans in an alternative way. I think there are two key points to consider if we were to further explore this inspiration: 1) Reducing debt (the direct response to the challenge) and 2) Encouraging participation in service work and social impact (an indirect benefit to the challenge). For point 2, there are many individuals who would like to pursue this type of work but often can't afford it due to their large amount of student debt. From a personal experience, I just returned from a yearlong fellowship in Africa with MASS design group under the Global Health Corps fellowship program and I had to defer my loans during the fellowship because I couldn’t afford to make the payments with the stipend alone. It can be difficult to remain long-term with non profits when your loan debt is so high but we can certainly use this challenge as an opportunity to bring this to the table.

I looked at the link you provided http://www.citydoctors.com/ny/index.php and it is definitely a simpler, straightforward way to accomplish this challenge than the PSLF program. And it could even be simpler. I looked at the details of the scholarship and noticed that filling out the FAFSA is a requirement. I’m thinking that for the purpose of key point #2, anyone regardless of their financial status should be able to apply. On this same note, we might think of this as a repayment option instead of a scholarship- as the latter is often associated as a competition and I’m sure most of would believe that education should be a right, not a privilege.

Thinking ahead as we move on to the ideas stage, I think one way to approach this is by measuring impact in terms of a) Commitment by number of hours working in an non-profit and b) Level of impact from a new initiative started by the student . Option B might be harder to calculate as measuring impact, especially when it is qualitative work, takes more convincing. Please comment if you have any more ideas or have a better way to frame this.

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Marcela commented on Different Generations. Shared Humanity. (Updated 6.29.14)

Glad to clarify! I think that what you’re doing, trying to get people of different age groups to connect by playing this game could also be applied to connect people of different social classes. Often invisible social boundaries exist amongst classes and by creating some sort of system/activity/game to have people understand how the others’ think would be a great way to combat social exclusion. I was initially drawn to your idea because it reminded me of the efforts I’m trying to carry for my architecture grad thesis, which revolves around the idea of connectivity between social classes.