And this is what you have decided to do with your life for 20 years, carrying over $300,000 of debt

And this is what you have decided to do with your life for 20 years, carrying over $300,000 of debt

I mean, Kelli, the story of somebody who is caring for – you know, we talk about the least of these – the children who have been abused and neglected.

What Kelli did not share – because I had the honor of meeting her daughter – is Kelli’s daughter graduated Spelman College as class president.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: And – but – (applause) – but was carrying this debt. And so, it’s important in this conversation that folks understand, when President Joe Biden and I and our administration decided to do this, it really was, yes, about the individuals who are here, but I have to keep emphasizing: Everyone is benefiting because of the work that you each do, and we want you to stay in these jobs doing this work. We need you to stay in these jobs doing this work.

And just know that your country needs you and that we are benefiting in profound ways because of the sacrifice and the work that you all do every day

And you shouldn’t have to make a decision about whether you serve or be able to pay your bills. And that’s part of the spirit behind the work that we are doing. It’s because we know who you are, and we applaud you. We thank you in every way possible.

MS. PENDLETON: And, you know, if I can add, I think the critical thing is, when we talk about student debt, we’re talking about student loan relief. And this is what you’ve heard today. You’ve heard the relief –

MS. PENDLETON: – in everyone’s voice talking about how they felt so challenged by these enormous – this enormous debt, and that having it relieved has enabled them to be able to continue to do the service that they –

MS. PENDLETON: – want to do and that they were called to do and that they have gotten their educations to do. I mean, the palpable relief.

MS. PENDLETON: So, we certainly – and, you know, full disclosure: I am one of those people. (Laughs.) I had a six-figure student do- – student loan debt that was relieved last year. And I – like you, I opened an email, and I was astounded because it – as you said, Kelli, it makes a difference.

When you have a high debt-to-income ratio, we know that affects your credit, that affects your ability to buy a home, buy a car, rent an apartment, all of those things.

And thank you so much, Vice President Harris, and – and for everything that you’ve done to bring this forward and make it happen, because it’s so significant. You can’t move forward ter um vislumbre desta piscadela when you’re saddled with debt.

I had debt – I went to school when I was 17 years old. And so, from 17 years old to now, many moons later. And then I also went to school twice. I went – I finished my bachelor’s.

So, I can’t – I can’t thank you enough. And I’m sure that everyone here on this panel shares that exact same feeling. So, thank you.

CONGRESSMAN EVANS: This is why when we – when I say that leadership is very important, we need to never take that for granted. And let that (inaudible). The Vice President and the President, that combination is what provides benefits for all of us, not just in Philadelphia, but the nation.

So, I share with you, as persons that are (inaudible), that we need to encourage them in their leadership and be supportive.

Well, I – again, I want to thank everybody. And please just keep doing what you are doing. Please keep doing what you’re doing. It really is the most noble work anybody can do.

Our social workers, who help children in foster care – children who have, through no fault of their own, been in circumstances where they need the support and they need the encouragement of a social worker to help them know that they are special and important.

So, I’ll make that very clear that you – for the service that you have provided, along with the President, has been extremely important. You have shown the type of leadership that we need today.

So, the – the weight that comes off for you, that is something that’s translated to the people that you are servicing.

When you – you talked about dancing in the kitchen, but what did it feel like for you to know that, at this point going forward, you would be able to live your life without this weight upon you?

We got the letter stating that she got accepted to Spelman. I knew I had to ask help for a parent PLUS loan, and I knew I needed a cosigner because my loans were outrageous and my credit wasn’t good. So, we did get that.

Beth, you know, what you have done and to continue to – to go to school, deciding and making a conscious decision you wanted to be a public health nurse. There are many places you could have gone, and we know we have a shortage, sadly, of nurses in our country. And – and you could have been paid much more. But you wanted to be a public health nurse and serve in our public schools and – and take care of our children – the children of the community with the debt you were carrying.

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