Monday, December 10, 2012

SNRAS student falls on hard times; needs assistance

Maura Bartley with her son, Toy, 4.

SNRAS student Maura Bartley’s life has taken a difficult turn recently, and the SNRAS family has “adopted” her for the holidays through the LOVE INC program.

Bartley, 27, graduated from high school in North Pole in 2003 and attended UAF for a while. She came back to the university in 2009 as a full-time student majoring in natural resources management. “It’s the most versatile degree,” Bartley said of her decision to major in NRM. Her goal is to work for an oil company, state or federal agency or fish hatchery, “anything outdoors.”

In the meantime, Bartley is paying her way through school by working as a hair stylist. In the summers, she also works for an auction company.

Her dreams have been interrupted by medical issues. Three weeks ago, Bartley went for a routine tonsil and adenoid removal. “It was in and out surgery,” she said. But she ended up having a second emergency surgery. After that she couldn’t eat or stand up for a week and a half. She lost 25 pounds, couldn’t speak and got behind on bills and classes.

A single mother of a 4-year-old son, Bartley has no health insurance. She decided to temporarily drop out of school. Her voice is coming back but she gets very tired.

“My biggest problem is the credit card bills,” Bartley said. “I am completely maxed. I was within reach of getting rid of debt before this.”

Bartley said she is working hard to catch up and wants to get back in school soon. “I love UAF,” she said. “I love being a student. I don’t want to lose my funding.”

To help SNRAS sponsor gifts, rent, utility payments, etc. for Bartley and her son, contact Martha Westphal at 907-474-7188. The deadline for LOVE INC donations is Dec. 18, and Westphal has a list of suggested gifts and clothing sizes.

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