Update: Magna Cum MoJo

Five years ago we profiled a single father laid off and worried about his teenage daughter. Then a generous reader contributed $8,000 toward her education. Here’s what happened next.

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in the november/december 2003 issue, Mother Jones ran an article I wrote about the impact of President Bush’s domestic policies on a small town in North Carolina. The piece told the story of Sam Jefferson, a single father laid off after 30 years at a local textile factory; the company had gone into bankruptcy in part because of trade agreements negotiated to facilitate the Iraq War. With local jobs drying up, and federal student aid frozen thanks to a Bush administration budget cut, Jefferson was worried that his teenage daughter wouldn’t be able to go to college. But after the story ran, an anonymous reader sent the family, by way of Mother Jones, $8,000 to help cover Tiffany’s college tuition. We’re thrilled to report that on May 3, Tiffany graduated cum laude from Elizabeth City State University with a bachelor’s in social work, and she’s been accepted for graduate school at the University of South Carolina. “I really appreciate the help” from the donor, says Tiffany, who paid for the rest of her education with scholarships and loans. “It did a lot for me and my family.” Her father, meanwhile, works two jobs—as a mail carrier, and at the deli at Wal-Mart, 30 miles away.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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