Personal Narrative: The Kalamazoo Promise

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When you're eighteen, it's hard for anyone to tell you what to do. After all you're an adult and you definitely think you've experienced it all. I’m a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School was not much different in my thinking - wanting to chase my dreams and have a college life beyond the boundaries of Kalamazoo.
As an 18 year old, I was ready to leave my hometown, I thought I had seen everything Kalamazoo had to offer, and I was ready for new beginnings.
Part of what made leaving easier for me was the Kalamazoo promise program, the gift of a free college education for all Kalamazoo Public School graduates. But that gift of education didn't really sink in for me until I was already gone.
I shared that The Promise created a culture of education
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It meant my family had more time to spend together instead of my parents taking on extra work to pay for our education. I said, "Simply put The Kalamazoo Promise not only gave me and my family the gift of education, but the gift experience, the gift of time together and the biggest gift of all opportunity."
Attending Michigan State University I began to realize the burden college expenses put on others. That hit me my first month of freshman year at Michigan State, when a girl down the hall told me she had taken out $20,000 in loans for that school year. That was my first reality check as an adult, of how big of a gift I had actually received. She went on to share, I didn't see how life changing it could be for a person to be able to come out of college with a degree, without crippling debt that I'd be paying off the rest of my life.
I shared that after my four year experience, I was just as excited to comeback as I was to leave…funny how that works. Kalamazoo has both the comfort and familiarity that is 'home' while still being a perfect place for a young person to start a career. The opportunities here are
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