Samara’s Grad School Fund

Posted on June 16, 2021
150%
$1,500 raised
17 donors
0 Days Left to donate
STRETCH GOAL $5,000 Gifts from friends and family to defray the cost of seminary education. This is a UU Religious Professional Credentialing/Development category campaign and all gifts will be immediately processed.
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This is a UU Religious Professional Credentialing/Development category campaign and all gifts will be immediately processed.

Stretch Goal Added: $5,000

**EDIT, I’ve added my first FAQ! You can view it in the FAQ tab above if you’re so inclined. Thank you!**

Hello, loves!

First, the TL;DR

  1. Money is appreciated!
  2. Alternatively, subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or follow me on Instagram @wiggle_fitness
  3. High fives and supportive comments appreciated!

The long version:

As a previously unchurched and newly-identified atheist, I would not have thought there was a religious community that would suit me. Little did I know that there was a denomination that perfectly matched my spiritual needs! Unitarian Universalism supports my developing and maintaining a clear-eyes state of wonder that meshes with critical thinking and justice-oriented acts of compassion and resistance.

In the Summer of 2016, about 6 months after diving into the community in 2015, I had a “call to ministry,” meaning I had a moment of deeply personal, powerful inward recognition about my purpose: that a service-oriented life centered on UU principles and founded on a theological education was the path forward into my 5th life (long story, but you could’ve knocked me over with a feather).

It took me 2 years of part-time study to complete my undergraduate degree, which I did in 2018. I applied to one school to pursue my Masters of Divinity, Meadville Lombard (one of the two UU-identified seminaries in the US), and was accepted in January of this year, with a $10,000/year institutional scholarship. My home congregation of UU Fellowship of Gainesville has formally sponsored my studies and my credentialing path, and I am very blessed to have a supportive community of loved ones from a wide variety of backgrounds.

I am a white, middle-aged single mom. I have many sources of privilege that I will lean on heavily and areas of challenge for which I will be seeking support during my three year program. I felt a lot of trepidation about posting a money-ask, but the fact remains I am about $10,000 per semester ($20,000 per year) shy of meeting my expenses. If you are one of the people with means to do so, or who asked to contribute, I thank you for considering helping a mama defray the cost of following this dream. There are a few reasons I set my goal at $1,000: First, these campaigns run a maximum of 60 days, so I wanted to set what seemed like a reasonable goal, especially since I may do this a couple of times a year. Second, there is no penalty for exceeding my goal! Third, I am hoping to flesh out most of that total $20,000/year with additional scholarships, for which I have been actively applying.

Other ways to support, if finances are not your bag: Subscribe to and share my Wiggle-Fitness (*koff koff* body ministry) channel on YouTube, or find and follow me on Instagram! Becoming a community supporter means a great deal <3.

Thank you for considering any or all of the above!

Stretch Goals

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Travel, Books, & Supplies, Oh My 5,000.00

The Meadville Lombard website estimates that, for the 2021-22 academic year, the cost of Books & Supplies is $1,000, and Travel to and from Chicago for intensives is $2,000 (link below). While I have access to some sources of in-kind support from friends and family for this goal in the form of donated airline miles and hand-me-down textbooks (about $1000 dollars' worth), my stretch goal is aimed at paying for the remaining $5000 needed to cover all books, supplies and travel for my 1st and 2nd years of study. For reference: https://www.meadville.edu/becoming-a-student/tuition-and-fees/cost-of-attendance. As a single mom, I am grateful to you for considering supporting my grad school education!

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