Miguel Gomez is a plumber. He applied for and received a work ethic scholarship from my foundation six or seven years ago. Like all applicants, he signed a SWEAT Pledge, a simple document with 12 tenets that attempts to define work ethic. One of those tenets, #5, states, “I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I’d rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.”
I included this tenet because there are few things sadder to see, than a hard working individual with no financial sense. Thrift matters, and I have no desire to assist people financially who don’t understand the importance of living within their means. That’s why it angers me to be told that hardworking tradespeople like Miguel Gomez must pay for other people’s student loans.
On behalf of him, and the 1,700 other people like him that mikeroweWORKS has assisted, I want to thank Salena Zito for writing this article, and for keeping this issue on the front page. It’s important to me, and I know, to a lot of other people, too.