Because the named plaintiff in Candy v. Cardona, Theresa Candy has been within the battle for justice for the reason that very starting. Upon studying about our proposed settlement with the Division of Schooling — robotically approving the borrower protection functions of over 200,000 debtors and canceling an estimated $6 BILLION — she had lots to say. Examine Theresa’s journey to #sweetrelief.
In case you had requested me on the day I graduated from faculty how I felt about my future, I feel that you’d have been dismayed on the reply. As an alternative of feeling hopeful, as an alternative of feeling proud to be the primary particular person in my household to graduate from faculty, I felt a looming sense of dread.
On that day, I by no means would have imagined that I might discover myself locked in a virtually 20 yr battle for justice towards a for-profit schooling firm that defrauded me, and towards the federal authorities for not solely failing to guard me from this fraud, however who additionally allowed overtly hostile Secretary of Schooling Betsy DeVos to repeatedly delay justice for myself and a whole lot of hundreds of different defrauded college students.
Once I first reached out to Housing and Financial Rights Advocates (HERA) of Oakland, CA, I jumped on the likelihood to foyer with them in favor of laws to assist defend California college students from predatory for-profit colleges. Even when there was nothing I might do to vary my scenario, I used to be glad to do something I might to assist stop it from taking place to different college students.
Not lengthy after, when HERA requested me if I might be keen to talk to The Challenge on Predatory Pupil Lending about being a part of a lawsuit that might cease the unlawful delay in pretty processing Borrower Protection functions, I knew I needed to make one other leap.
All through this battle for justice, I’ve been lucky to satisfy and correspond with hundreds of scholars who discovered themselves in the identical dire straits as me — these looking for a greater life by schooling solely to search out themselves burdened by insurmountable debt, watching household relationships crumble beneath the stress, and feeling their hopes for a secure future slip away. The sense of hopelessness was palpable.
Nothing about this battle has been simple. Greater than 1 / 4 million defrauded college students have been ready far too lengthy for justice that ought to have come immediately, however for which we as an alternative needed to battle tooth and nail. Sleepless nights, tears, anger, and disappointments have plagued the method by no fault of our personal.
So as to add insult to damage, we needed to cope with unhealthy religion bargaining and unlawful mass denials from Betsy DeVos and her for revenue schooling cronies inside our Division of Schooling.
However we didn’t quit. Defrauded debtors stepped as much as the plate time and again to share their tales, communicate to the courtroom, and refuse to take any of this mendacity down. There have been unbelievable organizing efforts by defrauded college students and advocacy teams all through the nation.
The attorneys at The Challenge on Predatory Pupil Lending and HERA stood by us each step of the best way, by limitless hours of depositions, negotiations, and the customarily Kafkaesque highs and lows of an enormous class motion towards our personal authorities. Our attorneys believed in us once we didn’t have something left to maintain hope alive.
Now, after I look again on the day I graduated from faculty, I consider a lesson my faculty by no means taught me — know your rights, and by no means cease preventing for them.