Boston University Student Starts Fundraiser To Stay In School

In less than two days, random strangers helped Alexis-Brianna Felix meet her goal.

Boston University Photo Uploaded by Gal With the Camera on Flickr

Boston University Photo Uploaded by Gal With the Camera on Flickr

A Boston University sophomore studying public relations and sociology put her ego on the shelf and turned to a fundraising website in order to scrape together enough money to keep her in college.

In two more years, Alexis-Brianna Felix, a Bronx native, will be the first member of her family to finish school and receive a bachelor’s degree. That is, if she can continue to find ways to fund her education.

“Last year I had some troubles in terms of paying for school, and there were questions about whether I would be able to come back. But [my family] cashed in our savings, and I saved everything I made over the summer,” she says. “But me returning in the Spring was looking very bleak again.”

Against her better judgment, and after some encouragement from close friends, Felix decided to rely on the kindness of strangers to help her make a final payment for her tuition so that she could come back and finish the year. She had just two months to get the money together, and was running out of options.

After “trying everything from applying for extra loans and scholarships to cashing in the giant change jar,” she decided to put it all out there, and post a fundraising page on GoFundMe.com.

On her page she wrote:

I need help to continue making my dreams a reality and this is the crucial time when I must ask for it. If you choose to give in any amount, I’d like you to consider it an investment rather than a donation. If you invest in me, I have no doubt that I will be successful.

In less than 27 hours, she raised more than $7,000, exceeding her intended goal. “I was reaching a point of desperation, because in my family, and my culture, it’s not usual to ask for anything, especially money,” she says. “It was difficult to make the decision to start the campaign in the first place.”

But after doing it, she was shocked by the response. “It was incredible and amazing, and I had no idea any of it was going to happen like this. I thought it would take weeks or months to approach that amount.”

After the “overwhelming” amount of support to help keep her education a top priority, Felix, who holds down both a job tutoring elementary school students at a YMCA after-school program, and a research position for a Boston-based consulting company, is hand-writing personalized letters to people that donated money, to thank them for keeping her on track. “It’s always going to be hard, and I’m sure I’ll get to the brink of not being able to stay every semester. But I’m here to succeed, and I’m going to try,” she says.

All of the money raised that exceeded the amount she needed to get by will be saved for her junior year tuition costs, she says.

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