An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education will challenge the myth that those receiving food stamps and taking advantage of other welfare programs are not working and not educated. The article gives several examples of college graduates who work part time but need to rely on food stamps to help keep their families fed.
Mellissa Bruning-Matteau is white and has a Ph.D. in medieval history. She even has a job as an adjunct professor teaching two course at YavapiCollege in Prescott Arizona.
Bruninga-Matteau thought that she would land a tenure track position at a college or university but she has ended up teaching two courses at poverty wages with no benefits or job security.
She works twenty hours a week at Yavapa an Arizona community college. Her take home pay is about 900 dollars a month. Her rent is 750 dollars but it is that low only because she lives 43 miles from the campus where she teaches so she has the expensive of commuting as well.. Not much left to live on!
She does not blame the college for her plight. Last year Arizona cut the Yavapa operating budget from 4.3 million to 900,000. As a result the college had to cut part time faculty by18,000 hours.
Bruning-Matteau said:"The media gives us this image that people who are on public assistance are dropouts, on drugs or alcohol, and are irresponsible," "I'm not irresponsible. I'm highly educated. I have a whole lot of skills besides knowing about medieval history, and I've had other jobs. I've never made a lot of money, but I've been able to make enough to live on. Until now." The article goes on to describe other graduates facing similar situations to Bruning-Matteau.