Gene

When Gene’s 24-year old daughter unexpectedly passed away in 2018, he was aghast to see the amount of debt she’d racked up simply by going to college. He had told her for her entire life that she had to go to college; she had to aim high, that she had to work hard. She did all of those things, graduating Magna Cum Laude from University of Wisconsin and immediately starting a fulfilling career in advertising.  

Gene had often wondered why she chose to live the way she did: in a 400 square foot studio apartment, with no car, shopping at Aldi and Trader Joe’s, and considering one night out with her friends per month to be a luxury. But he respected her work ethic and assumed she had amassed quite the savings. 

At the time of her death, Gene was presented with a report of her private student loan debt that he was now responsible to pay. Three years after she finished college – which was just over $10,000 per year – she had more debt than it had actually cost her to finish her degree. She owed her private lender over $60,000. Interest!  

Our Team met with Gene to help determine how much of this debt could be forgiven through the federal forgiveness program. He ended up owing a much more manageable (but still aggressive) $8,000 which we helped fund through unique grants to which our financial analysts have access. 

We thought that Gene was mourning enough, the loss of his only daughter, without the pile-on of her debt. We were proud to help Gene!  

Denise

Denise didn’t start her pursuit for higher education until the changes went into effect and therefore was able to focus more on her studies than her debt accumulation. That said, she was unable to find the time to work on a long term plan, a resume, a career trajectory, or some of the nuances of being a young adult on her own for the first time.  

She didn’t need a visit with the Team. But she did feel that she could benefit from monthly counseling with one of our lifestyle coordinators. Our lifestyle coordinators help with tasks such as resume building, finding an apartment, navigating the new city, and applying/interviewing for jobs. They’re basically life coaches for people who have lots of book smarts and need a little life smarts nudge.  

After the first visit with one of our lifestyle coordinators, Denise had a place to live and a draft resume. After the second, she had a transport plan and card, a finished resume with some applications out, and her place was coming along nicely. After the third visit, she had a job and a sense of well-being.  

We are so proud to be able to offer this service. People like Denise want to do good, they want to contribute to a functional society, they want to work, and they want to be happy. We just offer the tools and tips to make this happen. 

James

James was 44 years old when he first came to our office. James has completed his Bachelor’s of Art in Graphic Design fifteen years earlier and had barely made a dent in his loans since then, despite working full time without lapses and often taking on side-hustles to make the rent. 

 When politicians go on television or campaign spots or debates stages to discuss regular young people in America working two jobs simply to climb up out of debt, they’re talking about James. When baby boomers used to publish essays about millennials not buying houses or killing the magazine porn industry, they’re neglecting to consider people like James.  

 There was a vast education loan forgiveness program put in place, as we all know and celebrate, but the initial roll-out was predictably ineffective. It required so much paperwork, so many checked boxes, and it offered so little in the way of support that few people actually used it.  

 Just like Certified Application Counselors were available to help folks get the correct health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, Loan Forgiveness Officers were put into place to help people make sense of the debt they’d accumulated, how much of it was forgivable, and ways to move forward in paying off the rest without resorting to dumpster diving for dinner.  

 James entered the office that day with over $48,000 in student debt, decades old debt, and no hope that it would ever stop following him around. He left that day understanding that he actually only owed $12,000 of that as the interest had been forgiven. It took him a year and a half to pay that off with our financial analyst creating a budget for him. 

 He is now working in our office designing our outreach and singing our praises to, oh my god, anyone who will fucking listen!

Grace

We are the Nucleus Program. We help new college graduates find their footing, set a plan for paying off loans, begin gainful employment, and establish a career path. We believe firmly in a work life balance – especially for young people using their employment as a means rather than an end – but still see the importance of establishing a foundation from which activity and growth flourish.  

Through federally funded grants and programs, we employ a team of young professionals to help new societal contributors find their best way to contribute. 

We are not a temp agency. We are a lifestyle enabler.  

There was a time before the big democratic win in 2020 when the average college student was paying a minimum of $10,000 for in-state tuition at a public university. The workforce was full of twenty-somethings already in more debt than their parents’ generation could ever imagine. Every cent of income for the first decade in the workforce, for many of these folks, went straight to paying down the interest on the load – barely even touching the loan itself. 

Thanks for proud and competent progressives like Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Elizabeth Warren we now have debt free college options for anyone who want to go that way. The federal government began to pour money into states to prod them to create affordable public universities with competitive degrees for finishers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was able to create a system of checks on the Education Department, state colleges, and predatory loan lenders.  

And some of that money went into workforce training options for post-graduates still trying to get their shit together. That’s where we come in! We are using this blog to outline some of the stories we’ve supported. Get in touch today through your university and let us determine the kind of support we can provide as you get on with your life! 

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