If you are a VISTA with federal Perkins loans, you can get up to 15 percent of your original federal Perkins loan amount forgiven after completing a full-time term of VISTA service. To take advantage of this, you need to elect NOT to receive the education award; instead you can choose the end-of-service cash stipend. (Keep in mind you would need an original balance of more than $35,000 in Perkins loans for the forgiveness to total an amount greater than the education award.)
You can get an additional 15 percent of your Perkins loan canceled if you serve a second year as a VISTA, and up to 70 percent of your Perkins loans canceled if you serve in the Peace Corps along with two years of VISTA service.
With most Perkins loans, the interest that accumulates during your hardship deferment will be paid off by the U.S. Department of Education when your deferment ends. This policy may differ if your Perkins loans were issued by a state agency. In effect a hardship deferment is as valuable as the traditional national service forbearance.
Service and Outreach Coordinator VISTA
Saint Louis University Center for Service and Community Engagement
If you haven’t met her, please say hello to Gayla Carr. This November 2013 VISTA is a native of Clinton, NC that came to Saint Louis after a stint in Changhua, Taiwan as an ESL Teacher.
Gayla is serving at Saint Louis University’s Center for Service and Community Engagement as the Service and Outreach Coordinator VISTA. Her duties include connecting residential and academic learning communities to service, coordinating the Bright Idea Grants program, advising Greek Life on service and mission trips, advising SLU Dance Marathon, teaching iLEAD and coordinating large one-time day of service events. Currently, she is planning “Make A Difference Day,” the largest National Day of Service, connecting nearly 4,000 SLU students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents to over 150 community partners.
Coming from a small town in southeast North Carolina, first and foremost, Gayla learned “that rural poverty looks very different from urban poverty. It strikes me how somehow poverty and privilege became silent neighbors, and the world kept going. Here in Saint Louis, however, people are not silent and it is inspiring. In Saint Louis, I have been surrounded by groups of committed individuals that have the power to create change in the world. My VISTA year has also helped me to grow as an individual and strengthen my professional skills. I now have a better understanding of how I am making a difference as an individual.”
Theodore Roosevelt provides her favorite quote, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” In her spare time Gayla likes to explore all the great free activities St. Louis has to offer, travel, read, hang out with her VISTA friends and binge watch Netflix. After her VISTA service Gayla’s plan is to find a nonprofit job in development, preferably in the Chicago area.
Check out Gayla with a group of Greek Life students on a mission trip to the Appalachian Mountains over spring break, sitting on a porch they built for a family!
“How Millennials Are Reshaping Charity
And Online Giving”
by Elise Hu
This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.
Millennials are spending – and giving away their cash – a lot differently than previous generations, and that’s changing the game for giving, and for the charities that depend on it. Scott Harrison’s group, Charity: Water, is a prime example. Harrison’s story starts in New York’s hottest nightclubs, promoting the proverbial “models and bottles.”
“At 28 years old, I realized my legacy was going to be just that. Here lies a guy who got people wasted,” Harrison says.
So he changed his story. Harrison volunteered to spend the next two years in West Africa. What he found when he first got to Liberia was a drinking water crisis. He watched 7-year-olds drink regularly from chocolate-colored swamps – water, he says, that he wouldn’t let his dog drink. Most childhood diseases in the developing countries he visited could be traced to unsafe drinking water, so everything changed for Harrison. He got inspired to start raising money for clean water when he returned to the states, but his friends were wary.
“They all said, ‘I don’t trust charities. I don’t give. I believe these charities are just these black holes. I don’t even know how much money would actually go to the people who I’m trying to help,’ ” Harrison recalls.
So his one cause became two: He started Charity: Water to dig wells to bring clean drinking water to the nearly 800 million people without access to it around the globe. But he also wanted to set an example with the way the organization did its work. “We’re also really trying to reinvent charity, reinvent the way people think about giving, the way that they give,” he says.
Demographic change is a huge reason for rethinking this. With around 80 million millennials coming of age, knowing how they spend their cash on causes is going to be critical for nonprofits. And their spending patterns aren’t the same as their parents.
“Our culture is changing pretty dramatically,” says Amy Webb, who forecasts digital trends for nonprofit and for-profit companies. “That sense of ‘I need to give out of obligation’ – I don’t know that it’s going to be around 20 years from now.” One piece of advice she gives on appealing to younger donors? Don’t even ask them to “donate,” because younger donors want to feel more invested in a cause. Choose a different word, with a different connotation: investment.
“It may seem something simple. It’s just semantics: donation vs. investment. But I think to a millennial, who’s grown up in a very different world, one that’s more participatory because of the digital tools that we have, to them they want to feel like they’re making an investment. Not just that they’re investing their capital, but they’re investing emotionally,” Webb says.
Read the full article here