Skip to content


Organized by: Penny Marken

Penny's Photo


Donate Now! I'm Penny Marken, theritaradar! I was a C average student when I was young. I almost did not graduate high school, grades! There were so many things that could of kept me from going to college. The first of which was I grew up in a house with two older sisters and a youger brother who all quit school. There were four of us in all. It was up to me to make sure that I not only went to high school but went on to college. I think what we went through as young kids may have had something to do with this. When I was 10 my father committed suicide in our house while we slept. He was also very abusive and my mom would not read to us or try to teach us at home for fear that he would get too rough with trying to make us learn. My oldest sister got a black eye for a "B" paper in grammer school. By the time I got to high school my teachers were just passing me along to get me out of their classes. I never finished any homework and never really payed much attention in class either. Although I hated school then I really wanted to be a good student. I just never knew how. 

My mom married four years later and I got the best dad I could ever wish for. He was great. He instilled in me the idea that getting an education was a very important and worthwhile idea. Even though he knew I had little chance to make it in school he encouraged me to go to college. I tried right out of high school to go to college. I did not make it I ended up dropping out. When I finally decided to go back to school my step-dad died of cancer. 

One year I got tired of my job and felt that I was not making any money so I went back to school. When my 5 year old daughter wanted to take dance classes and my boss would not let me off to go to her recital I decided I wanted something that could. I really loved my job as a pre-school teacher. It was the most rewarding job I ever had. I loved all my students and I loved the other teachers that I worked with.  I just wanted more.

I became a christian and started to really read the Bible. I feel this is the single mose important thing that helped me become a great reader. I would sit down to read the Bible and I could not put it down. I would realize about 4 to 5 hours later that I was still reading. I guess I never stopped reading at that point. I would then start to read all the self-help books I could get my hand on as long as they had a christian theme. 

When I went through my second divorce I started to go back to school. By this time my daughter was in high school and I now had a sonas well. My kids are ten years apart. At that time I was not really quite sure what I wanted to do so I just took as many classes as I could possibly get away with. After three years and no degree I ran out of financial aid. It took me until I lost my brother to cancer that I realized I needed to finish what I started. Before my brother passed he said that everybody thought I would have my degree finished a long time ago. More or less the conversation made a big impact on me. He could hardly read either and was a very successful paint and body man in Jacksonville, Florida.

I graduated from Saint Leo University in 2009 with my Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. I was not sure what to do with this because I really did not want to carry a gun and I am not really one who takes well to conflict. So I decided not to pursue a career with the criminal justice. I had no military experience and felt this would hold me back form being in law enforcement anyway. I was already a hairstylist and I tried to be an insurance agent. I was great at being a hairstylist but did not do well with insurance. I worked for two years for a call center and then I was laid off my job. I had no idea that it would take me two years to find a job and by this time I was pretty tired of not doing what I wanted to do. So I went back to school again. This time I was able to get my MBA in Marketing. I am back at a call center waiting for that perfect career. I am glad I had to get it the hard way I think it would not mean as much if it came easy. 

I do have to say I am not sorry I ever went to school.  I do regret the student loan debt I racked up while in school. It was the best decision I ever made and it is important for every person to have a good education. I am very passionate about this mission to pay off my student loans.

 My daughter said I could of been a career student. I graduated high school in 1978. Now, About this fundraiser.

If those two friends donate, every third $1, will go to someone here on crowdrise. If you don't wantto share my story with a friend just give what you want the results will be the same. 

At the $3 level the fundraiser recipient will be another person like me who wants to pay off their student loan debt. Yes, I will give every third dollar to someone else. This is a way for me to give back to the community as a responsible person. Being the stewart of this fundraiser I promise to be honest and trustworthy with the funds and let God lead me through the process. 

Then when the $5 level is met. I will give every fifth dollar to help with credit counseling. That means every fifth dollar will go to an organization that helps others get out of debt.  This organization must be a non-profit organization.

Then when the $7 level is reached I will give this to God. This will be my tithe for the entire time this fundraiser is active. That means that every seventh dollar will be given to a youth group fundraiser or a cheritable organization or a home-school organization.

Then when the $10 level is reached I will give that dollar to education. To help fund the education of our nation. That means every tenth dollar will go to education. 

All the fundraising activity will be made known to the public and with every donation I will post a new video or picture of the organization the money is given to in real time. 

The more that is donated the more funds will be donated to others. While at the same time I only ask for $1 from each individual. Canit be done? Only you can decide that. I have heard it only takes one person to make a difference.

Some statistical facts:

Student loan debt has become an epidemic financial problem of today. There is no other group of individuals who have the ability to secure loans while not making enough money to show credit worthiness. That means if you are in school at the college level you will be eligible for more loans than you can possibly ever pay back in your life time. If you get unsecured student loans then you will start accumulating interest as soon as you receive the money. This means that when it is time to pay it back you will owe so much that it can be a financial burden to you and your family.

"According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New Yord, out standing student loan debt in the United States lies between $902 Billion and $1 Trillion with around 864 Billion in Federal Student loan debt. As of [the] 1st Quarter in 2012, the average student loan [then] balance for all groups [was] $24,301." ( I am thinking this number must be for undergraduate studies because my student loan debt is about $148,681.03.




0% Raised of $200,000 Goal

  • The Pattons


  • anonymous


Organized by

Penny Marken

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

Donor Comments




I am so proud of you. 3 years ago

The Pattons

The Pattons


I think this is a wonderful idea, Penny! I thank you for mentioning homeschoolers! This donation comes from a homeschool family. 3 years ago

Report this page — Let Us Know if you think this page is breaking the law or the CrowdRise Terms