High schooler uses money she saved for college tuition to pay mom’s rent

HOUSTON (CNN) - A high school senior from Houston who saved her mom from eviction using her college tuition money will be able to attend her dream school after all, thanks to donations from those moved by her story.

Alondra Carmona, 18, got accepted into her dream school, Barnard College, an Ivy League school in New York City, but she realized there was a gap in her financial aid package. The high school senior had a part-time job and was saving up money, but it wouldn’t be enough.

“Even with a second job and more hours, it wasn’t going to be possible. So, I was just crying,” Carmona said.

While talking to her mom, Martha Zepeda, about the situation, her mom revealed she had been fired from her job three months earlier and that she was behind on the rent for their Houston apartment.

“It was just like my world was falling apart,” Carmona said.

Alondra Carmona, 18, will be able to attend her dream school, Barnard College, thanks to donations from those moved by her family's story.
Alondra Carmona, 18, will be able to attend her dream school, Barnard College, thanks to donations from those moved by her family's story. (Source: GoFundMe)

Carmona decided to use her college savings to instead help her mom. Although Zepeda said she felt bad using her daughter’s money, Carmona says she really needed it to avoid a possible eviction.

“I just wanted to do it for her because she’s so hardworking, and I know she needed the money,” Carmona said.

In hopes of saving her college dream, Carmona started a GoFundMe, and it worked. She has raised more than $170,000 and says she will now be able to attend Barnard in the fall and for the full four years. She also recently learned her mom got her job back.

“I’m so excited. I’m so thankful,” Carmona said.

Carmona plans to pursue a degree in neuroscience with a minor in Latin American studies. She hopes to eventually get a doctorate.

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