History MATTERS – Mimi’s semester abroad

by Penny Lapenna in Exeter, England, United Kingdom

History MATTERS – Mimi’s semester abroad
We did it
On 26th October 2020 we successfully raised £109 with 5 supporters in 28 days

UPDATED: 23 October 2020. She can't go to Canada,  :-( but now has an application to study at the University of Southern Denmark.My daughte...

by Penny Lapenna in Exeter, England, United Kingdom

UPDATED: 23 October 2020. She can't go to Canada,  :-( but now has an application to study at the University of Southern Denmark.

My daughter LOVES History and Travel. Nothing unusual in that, they often go together, but she is planning a semester abroad as part of her History degree. She lost her job during the pandemic, and now faces the prospect of cancelling her trip abroad, unless she can raise the funds.

Why should you care?

She’s a GOOD PERSON. She is 19, and she studies hard, and doesn’t ask for anything. With three kids, our wages don’t go far, but Mimi never complains. She is not a typical university student – she doesn’t drink, smoke or party. She worked part-time in a supermarket during her whole first year to supplement her student loan and pay for trips home to see us. Now, she studies from the smallest bedroom in our house (her degree has gone online), cooks dinner, supports her sisters, bakes for visitors. She is a good citizen – she donates blood, and cut off 14 inches of her hair to donate to a charity for kids with cancer. In fact, she’s growing it again to donate more.


She knows how important getting a good education is, and she cares about other people, other cultures, and the planet. She would ideally love to work to raise the money – she would babysit your kids, mow your lawn, or serve you coffee. But we can’t go to other peoples home right now, cafes are closing down, and people are home mowing their own lawns. She’s sold old textbooks and is trying to raise the funds, but prospects are few, and she is studying full-time to keep her grade point average up, as only top students get to participate in the Study Abroad programme.

She trained to be a Holocaust ambassador at college, and did work experience in our local museum (RAMM) because she thinks it’s important to share our knowledge, not to repeat the mistakes of the past, and to build a better future. She picked Canada because she discovered it has a great education system, multiculturally diverse students, and is one of only two countries (along with the UK) that are members of NATO, the G7, the G20, and the Commonwealth. 

*HOWEVER, now due to the pandemic she cannot get a visa to study in Canada because all of the University of Calgary's courses have gone online. Instead, undeterred, she has had to rush through an application to study in Denmark at the University in Odense.

She has a 620-day unbroken streak on the language app Duolingo, where she is teaching herself four languages – Spanish, French, Dutch and Korean. Now she's adding basic Danish.... :-)


When I suggested we approach Charities and Trusts for some funds, her response was that surely other people need their money. She said a Crowdfunder was a great idea if someone’s house burned down, but why would anyone give a History student any money?

Why should you donate?

Because SHE DESERVES IT. She’s a hard worker. One of her heroes is Michelle Obama – not because she married a president, but because she worked her way to the top. Mimi is pragmatic – she is not afraid to work for things, but the pandemic is shrinking opportunities, even skilled workers are unemployed. She’s checked all the health and safety aspects of her trip and is sure she can go, but we need to raise at least £500 (*revised amount 23/10/20 ) on top of what she has already saved and put aside from her wages.

She is the kind of student who will make a difference one day. She is thoughtful and resilient, and she is determined enough. I’d love to show her that people on Crowdfunder WANT to support the right people, and that hard work pays off.

Got an idea like this?

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