Alfonso: What I Learned Volunteering with NC NOW

As of March 10th I’ve stood in press conference, helped fold newsletters for NOW NC, and I have also helped Gailya Paliga, President of NC NOW, with several things she needed done around her office. I learned more in the 10 1/2 hours with President Paliga about the functions of an organization such as NOW than I can imagine I would’ve learned over the course of a semester in a class room.

Photo Credit: Sen. Floyd McKissick

While standing in at a #15in5 press conference (raise the minimum wage), I heard a single mother of one child speak, and then I heard single mother of four who had been homeless for a while. That mom worked at Bojangles for 2.5 years and only makes $8 an hour now. I was unaware of the struggles of single mothers, and learned so much during their time speaking. For a split second I felt a microscopic portion of what they felt on a day to day basis. The struggles these women go through everyday is because the minimum wage is not enough to provide for even a single person to live off.

Photo Credit: Sen. Floyd McKissick

I learned that although the wage gap is present everywhere, in our home the minimum wage for everyone is far below standard, if a single American could not live off of $7.25, what makes the people in charge of the NC minimum wage believe that the 50 sum percent of women with children working those minimum wage jobs believe they could live, and give their children the life that they deserve.

I also learned that every newsletter sent to members of an organization like NC NOW has a lot of work put into getting them out in time.

By Alfonso Cristobal, High School student from Smithfield NC

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