Thomas Jefferson

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Gifting Graduation

Posted 03/10/2016 by Maggie Fairfield

The Graduation for All campaign supports students who can't afford graduation costs. photo by Javontae Jourdain

TJ’s Graduation for All Fund is helping seniors reach their goals and graduate on time.

With the second semester underway, seniors should be thinking about graduation on May 25 at Auraria Campus. For some students, graduation is just  out of reach; although they have the grades and all of the requirements to graduate, the financial burden of the necessities of graduation holds them back.

Seniors typically must pay around $46 for their cap and gown. Additionally, obtaining other aspects that revolve around graduation, such as pictures and announcements, can make graduation a horrendous process for seniors. “Things can add up pretty quickly, and then if you’re going to do other things like throw a graduation party, there’s money on top of that,” explained TJ counselor Jeremy Anderson. If a student wants to personalize items such as mugs and specialized tassels, the expense is even greater. Ultimately, students and families may end up spending hundreds of dollars on graduation.

The Graduation for All Fund is one new method that can aid students with this financial burden. “A group of concerned parents and school staff organized the campaign. GoFundMe is the central collection point, so people can forward the link to friends and family and get more donations,” explained the creator of the GoFundMe account, who wished to remain anonymous. Even small donations add up, and have the potential to make the lives of seniors, along with their families, much easier.

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) also partnered with the creators of the GoFundMe account to help raise money for the campaign. They hope to help any TJ students who are financially struggling to pay for their graduation. “In many cultures, there is a rite of passage or some kind of a ceremony or ritual to mark someone’s going from one stage of life to another. In our culture, this is often centered around the graduation ceremony. Our group of parents don’t want anyone excluded from this rite of passage just because they don’t have $46 to spare,” explained the anonymous sponsor.

The Graduation for All Fund is for any Denver student, starting with seniors who attend TJ. Depending on how much money the campaign is able to raise, they may begin to reach out to other schools in the Denver area. TJ students are able to donate and reach out to the fund via the GoFundMe website, located below. If any student is worried about being able to pay for graduation, he or she can also reach out to any of the counselors here at TJ who can then access the funds to keep the student’s identity anonymous. Everyone should be able to graduate, and the Graduation for All Fund can help students reach that goal. To donate to the cause, or for more information on the campaign, please visit the GoFundMe page.