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Believe in SEED

by Celine M. Pham

On September 15th, 2018 at the Family Day in the Park event, here in Stockton I was searching for someone to interview with my fellow RTV peers. It was a beautiful day the sun was out and kids were roaring with laughter, excitement and huge grins on their faces. Next to our booth we found a talented Delta College student Erin Knight. She was blindfolded simultaneously molding her pottery into the shape she wanted while the wheel was spinning. While the wheel was spinning my mind was spinning with what questions to ask her. What kind of questions could I ask a fellow peer who is, or may know, someone facing the same financial situations that I was? Suddenly, that bright and sunny day became brutally heavy... loaded with questions filled with ammos of reality.

This is how our conversation went

Celine: Do you know anybody who is maybe struggling with it that could really benefit off of seed?

Erin: um, I can think of several people. I know people that wouldn't even be able to go to Delta if it wasn’t even for the it used to be called BOG waiver or the board of governor’s waiver it has a different name now but it still has the same function and I know people who couldn’t go to Delta if they didn’t have that.

Celine: Right and I’m in the same boat too my schooling is off of financial aid so I personally think even though I’m apart of seed I think it’s a great thing it’s kind of like another thing to help low income people trying achieve what they need to.

Erin: Well with any program there is always the possibility of misuse but that’s still money going back to the economy.

Celine: Right and as people working for SEED we know there is going to have to be a risk that's going to be taken when working with a project like this but I feel like we have to take that risk in order to make a change. We can’t control what people do with the money but all we can just do is hope they’re going to do something good with it.

Erin: Even if they buy luxury goods it’s still money going to the local economy. So even the worst case scenario isn’t exactly unusable.

Erin was absolutely right. Many students like myself don’t come from a wealthy background. It’s truly a struggle to build an empire for yourself when you don’t have one to lean on. I couldn’t have had this honor to be a part of SEED if it wasn’t for financial aid giving me an opportunity to reach my full potential and to give me a hand to pursue my career without worrying about what my next meal would look like. Yes, some Stocktonians may misuse their money they’re receiving from SEED. But, we have to take a risk. We have to BELIEVE. Believe in Stockton. Believe in each other that Stockton can flourish. Believe that we, as a city can achieve and do great things. How can we grow if we don’t stand not, behind or in front of each other, but beside each other arm in arm, hand in hand. We need to start believing in each other. We need to believe in SEED because with SEED we can achieve great things. I’m from a low income, immigrant family and queer and I am that prime example that SEED can achieve great things. It definitely has changed my life. It has given me the chance to become a part of my community. I know SEED can change many other lives and families. Let’s start believing in Stockton. Let’s start believing in each other. SEED can achieve great things.

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