Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lately!

Some pictures: My first day of school and Zane being a funny uncle.




Lately...not too much has been going on! Jardan's looking for work still and I started school last week. My classes are going to be pretty easy--I'm even taking a PhD class, but it will be enjoyable and lacking in busy-work. I'm also taking a Social Work class on public policy (Mom thinks I'm CRAZY for loving it...well, maybe I am!) with a professor who I Adore (note the capital A)!

Also, for my Master's thesis (what I'm doing is actually called an Applied Project) I had to go to DES to get permission to interview DES employees and TANF recipients. I had a meeting last week with a DES Assistant Director and a lawyer from the Attorney General's office, and I nearly threw up I was so nervous. But they were both INCREDIBLY nice and very helpful, and I got permission as well as a bunch of information they had gathered for me. I had been praying for literally weeks that I would get permission, because without it I couldn't go on with my study! So, my planning is finally going to become a reality, and I hope I can find ways to help.

What I'm doing is researching the alignment of welfare policies and services with the needs of recipients. I found out a little while ago that, according to federal regulations, only 30% of the people using TANF (aka cash assistance) are ALLOWED to go to college, and of those who are ALLOWED to attend college, they can only go for a year. This is CRAZY to me because if we want to help people out of poverty, we have to at least PERMIT them to get more education! I'm not even talking about paying for education; I see a real need to change the regulations to allow them to go to SCHOOL! Any thoughts/questions? My plan: do research, and then figure out how to change this.

4 comments:

laura said...

Wish I could answer your questions about how to end poverty, but i am a lowly undergrad. you are amazing, aubrey! congrats on the first day of school!

RonElaine said...

This is such a good idea, Aubs!

I don't really have any good ideas for you, but we are on WIC, the girls are on Medicaid and we recently got approved for Food Stamps and although I feel completely comfortable with my decisions because we are poor students, I have come to understand how easy it would be to STAY poor. The first time we appleid for food stamps (about 18 months ago) we were denied because I had $2500 in my IRA (max asset limit is $2000), so even though neither of us had a job (and hadn't for 8 months), we couldn't be approved.

It was so frustrating! So, should I withdraw the whole $2500 I have saved for my entire retirement, so that next month I can be approved? Then I would be using federal funds forever, because I just spent all my retirement $$$! What craziness.

Thanks to the stock market, we now qualify, even though Ron has a job. Ironic.

Joann said...

Aubrey, I just want to say I love you! I admire you for having so much passion and drive in the things you get involved in. I'm not very smart like you! But I guess, if these people were to receive assistance like that, as with any other sponsor, a detailed plan of what they intended to study and when they planned to be finished should be involved before a cent is granted. Then a reasonable but strict budget of where each penny would go should be accounted for every 6 months. Maybe that's not helpful at all. I don't have any answers, but you're right, how are they supposed to get out of poverty when they can't afford an education to get higher paying jobs?

Joann said...

By the way, I'm using my parents computer...so JOANN....is really Jamie Tew Myers! haha sorry Aubs!! Aaron and I miss you guys