Rise Campus Organizer, Maya Chavis, Featured in TEEN VOGUE: Student Debt Is Taxing Young People’s Mental Health

Rise Campus Organizer, Maya Chavis, Featured in TEEN VOGUE: Student Debt Is Taxing Young People’s Mental Health

Rise Campus Organizer, Maya Chavis, discusses her experience with student loan debt and its impact on student mental health, in this article from Teen Vogue.

IOU is a series exploring the impact of the student debt crisis on the day-to-day lives of young Americans.

BY RAINESFORD STAUFFER

MAY 16, 2024

“Maya Chavis, 21, a first-generation student who graduated early, told Teen Vogue that many of her family members didn’t go to college because of the cost. When Maya was in college, she waived the fee that would’ve afforded her on-campus physical and mental health care so she could put those funds toward bills. “I put my mental health on the back burner, and my [physical] health on the back burner, for the fact that I didn’t want to have to pay for it later,” she said…

Maya now works as a campus organizer for RISE, a nonprofit focused on making higher education more accessible and affordable, and receives benefits through work. But she said she doesn’t want to see a doctor because she doesn’t want to accumulate another bill. That includes counseling, which Maya noted can be expensive. “It’s a lot to say, okay, like, I’m gonna go talk to somebody about my issues, but to pay $200 for it–that could have been my groceries for the month or I could have paid for my student loans for that month.

In her work with RISE, Maya connects with students who say they don’t have time to talk to a therapist or even decompress. Like Maya, many of the students she talks to are working while in school, and in some cases, just trying to afford to finish.”

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