Kelli Space's $189K Student Loan Debt Downsized $8K
Kelli Space, proving beyond a doubt that necessity is the mother of invention, has quickly become quite skilled at working in new media.
Not long ago this recent college graduate was drowning in $189K of student loan debt. Then she started her website twoHUNDREDthou.com. Space used the site to tell her story. She explained that she was the first member of her family to attend college and was therefore quite naive about student loans.
On her site she asked the public for assistance in helping paying off these loans. The media at-large, including us here at AOL Jobs, have reported on this interesting series of events. Opinions varied regarding Space's moves: Some though they represent chutzpah, others charm. Based on a field of reports, the public was able to form its own opinion.
So far Space's experiment has had good results, at least for recessionary times. Space tells us that $8K in donations have already come in. So that leaves about $181K in debt left to take care of. There's more though to this story than just dollars and cents. Like many who bump up against adversity, Space has become an activist.
Recently Space has joined forced with Web start-up EduLender. Their vision is to change the way students approach debt. One tactic the site uses is to make it easy for those planning to attend college, or those already burdened with debt, to set up a gift registry. The gift registry operates much like a traditional wedding registry. It's a centralized mechanism that friends and families of students can use to contribute money toward college tuition or loan debt. They could use this option instead of shopping around for gifts for special occasions like birthdays or graduations.
Will EduLender catch on? Perhaps. What's notable is this: Space has been moderately successful in reframing her student loan debt. What might have once been perceived as lack of fiscal prudence on her part, she has now positioned as a worthwhile cause. Obviously this young woman, once seemingly so innocent about worldly matters, has gotten down some of the key principles of publicity.
Those wishing to pitch in and help Space with the rest of her $181K student loan balance, can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Genova, coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializes in transitions. Her talk on professional shifts at the New York State Bar Association has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY. Her latest book is OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. She blogs on the subject at http://janegenova.com, http://lawandmore.typepad.com, http://careertransitions.typepad.com and http://over-50.typepad.com.more...