Juggling Family Issues in 2 States, but still Squeezing In Class

Sitting in an office building on the low East Part of Manhattan this fall, Mr. Cummings recalled that his mother got led an unrooted lifestyle. After his aged siblings had left house, he and his mother spent several years traveling, start when he was 7.

“She wanted to get me out of your city,” Mr. Cummings said, adding that Ms. Kisselovich got expanded his worldview beyond the casing projects where he had grown up on the low East Side and in New Jersey. Over three years, they lived in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Grenada, together with Anguilla and the French West Indies. Ms. Kisselovich, who had been employed in banking, started out working in education, and Mr. Cummings attended institutions with self-directed curriculum.

“That experience definitely changed me,” he said. “It opened my head and let me see things differently.”

They returned to america, living in NY and New Jersey before settling in Florida when Mr. Cummings was about 12. There, he graduated from senior high school and his mother pursued her nursing level.

Instead of going to college, Mr. Cummings got a job refinishing bits at a furniture company in Queens. After four years, his job was terminated amid cuts in 2009 2009, and he didn’t have another one for the next eight years.

A yr after Mr. Cummings was laid off, his boy, Jadice Cummings, was born. Around the same time, his dad, Illinois Cummings, a Vietnam veteran and retired corrections officer, had a set of debilitating heart episodes. Then in his past due 20s, Mr. Cummings relocated in with his dad in the East Village to care for him. His dream of going to college appeared like a remote possibility.

In 2014, Jadice started out a Head Begin program in the East Village. The Educational Alliance, a beneficiary organization of UJA-Federation of NY, among the eight businesses supported by THE BRAND NEW York Times Neediest Situations Fund, runs the program. And Mr. Cummings “jumped on the opportunity” to take part in the alliance’s University Access and Success Software, which helps parents enhance their children academically while rendering support for them to pursue higher education themselves.

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In September 2015, Mr. Cummings enrolled regular at LaGuardia Community University, where he’s working toward the purpose of entering communications or aiding others pursue higher education. The Educational Alliance helped him navigate school funding applications, and the brand new York Point out Tuition Assistance Software and a federal government Pell Grant possess eased the tuition burden. But when he just lately reduced his timetable to part time to take care of family matters, he misplaced some assistance, accruing $800 in student education loans.


When his mother died in April, he was not financially prepared. Until just lately, Mr. Cummings, who still lives with and cares for his dad, relied on his father’s military retirement benefit of about $1,200 per month to covers their $950 rent. Consequently he collected funds from friends and family to make it to Florida. He likewise reached out to the Educational Alliance, which presented him with $2,650 from the Neediest Situations Fund to covers the price of a viewing and cremation.

As the weeks passed, Mr. Cummings retained up along with his schoolwork while going back and forth to Florida to care for his uncle, until his loss of life in June. Despite family members obligations, Mr. Cummings exceeded algebra with a B-plus.

He is currently working with the estates of his members of the family, ping-ponging between NY and Florida. His mother did not have life insurance coverage or a will, and still left substantial debt; his uncle likewise died without a will or insurance.

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“I’m defeat,” he said from a Florida airport. “The combat to save what’s left will business lead me down this highway again.”

Handling family responsibilities offers delayed Mr. Cummings’s graduation. He got November off and today programs to graduate by June. Looking toward graduation, he balances part-period classes with a full-time job he started in August, as a truck driver for a chemical company. He makes about $100 a day.

Mr. Cummings and his boy continue receiving companies through the Educational Alliance. Jadice, today 7, is signed up for a Boys & Girls Golf club after-school program, and Mr. Cummings says he owes an “mental debt” to the organization. He remains centered on fulfilling his mother’s desire that he graduate from college, which will put him on a much better track to provide a safety net for his family.

“It’s been a roller-coaster drive,” he said. “But it’s an activity.”

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