The Young Invicibles engage with USF students about student debt, health care and employment listen04/12/12 Liz McKibbon
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In the U.S. student debt now exceeds credit card debt. A group called the Young Invincibles are traveling the nation to capture the voices of these students. They made a stop at the University of South Florida Tuesday morning.
Young America is … you fill in the blank. That’s what members of the Young Invincibles asked students to do at USF. The group of young professionals and volunteers are on a national bus tour, asking this question around the country. They are half way through their national bus tour, with nine more states left to visit. Naimah Terry is a recent graduate. She is volunteering her time to be on a majority of the visits, slated to end in May.
“One, we’re doing—we’re surveying in each state we go to, all the cities and all the schools that we go to, so we’re going to take these surveys back and collect data and formulate a platform to go and advocate on 18-34 year olds' behalf to our representatives. And two, the videos and pictures we collect is actually going to put a face and a voice to all of these solutions, 'cause we’re also getting solutions from the people who are in college right now and the recent graduates.”
Feras Ahmed is a current student at USF, carrying a stack of LSAT study guides. He’s one semester away from finishing his Bachelor’s degree and plans to dive right back in to complete his law degree.
“I think it’s an important cause, that’s certainly underrepresented. And I think what they’re doing—you know—it’s seminal work for our generation. 'Cause no one else is really as concerned as these guys are.”
Megan Slavik is currently pursuing a public relations degree. She started college with Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program, but couldn’t take all of the classes she needed to qualify as a full time student. Instead, she took a year away from USF to complete her nursing degree. Now she’s finishing her education out of pocket.
”I am working now as a nurse, I do a full time 40 hour shift on the weekends and then go to school during the week.”
Members say they’ve spoken to students who will graduate with more than $500,000 in student debt loans. The big question is, is going to college still worth it?
“Yes! It definitely is worth it. I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t know about the opportunity with Young Invincibles if I didn’t go to college. To me, in addition to the classes it’s about networking and growing up those extra four years before you just go straight to getting a job,” said Terry.
In addition to surveying students about college debt, the Young Invincibles also touch on issues of employment and health care. The group plans to put together all of the data and create a “100 Days of Young America” presentation to share with members of Congress. You can share what you think young America is at their website, YoungAmerica.is.