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Kent: Homeless mom to get college degree

7:07 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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KENT -- Monique Menefee walks the campus at Kent State University. This may be the easiest part of her journey.

After high school and serving in the U.S. Air Force, she became homeless -- with a baby daughter.

Monique says "We were living in my car and it was really trying everyday. We were out in the cold, the winter, we ate where we could and we slept wherever we could."

But while sitting there parked, Monique still had the drive to find a better life. That's when she found the federally funded Trio program.

It got her out the car and into the classroom.

Monique said, "My grades started to skyrocket, I got this unbelievable thirst for knowledge, and hunger to be more and do more. Trio programs are amazing!"

But Trio is funded by the Department of Education and if the fiscal cliff hits, the program could fall off the face of the earth.

Expanded Coverage: Fiscal Cliff

Through Trio, students are given tuition, room and board, and meal plans, but, more importantly, the chance to learn and find a better life.

But again without a plan from Washington, all these students will have to find another place to go.

Sherice Freeman is with the Kent State Trio program and says, "It will nationally cut $66 million from Trio, which amounts to 61,000 students."

Freeman is concerned that all those dreams and opportunities could be lost if lawmakers in Washington don't find a solution.

Freeman added, "Because of politics and people not wanting to come together, it's not about the issues that are taking place, it's about people's lives that are being changed."

Those people are like Monique, who plans on graduating with a degree in Spanish Translation in the spring.

Without Trio, she may still be in her car.


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