I am a single, professional mother. I have tried to do all things right regarding my life planning...but circumstances continue to push me backwards. I am a college graduate who spent over 15 years working in the IT industry, before I was laid off due to overseas job exports. I did as I was encouraged to do at the time...go back to school and find another trade! Because of my heart to work with children, I went to school to become certified to teach, and became a Public School Teacher. After teaching a couple of years, I did another thing that I was encouraged to do to better myself in the Education arena. I went back to graduate school and earned a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology. Where am I now? I am knee deep in debt again due to student loans and medical bills. My salary as a Teacher is woefully insufficient to cover all my expenses (including my student loans). Medical benefits are horrible as a teacher in Texas. So I am also struggling to pay medical bills from a bout of illness with my son and me last year. My fiscal cliff is January 2013, when I will be required to pay back over $20,000 in student loans!