By Quinn Brenneke
“Honey, you need to brush your teeth and wash your face,” Jillian De Moya calls to her 9-year-old daughter, whose piano playing carries through the small house before bedtime. Clean dishes rest in a drying rack next to the kitchen sink, and notebooks full of homework are scattered on the kitchen table.
De Moya is a mom, naturally, but she is also a full-time nursing student at Goshen College, raising four children alone. Her part-time job at a consignment store in downtown Goshen, Seconds on Third, does not pay all the bills, so she is asking her community for help through a crowd-funding campaign.
Crowd-funding is a grassroots style of fundraising that has become popular with the rise of social media. De Moya chose Indiegogo.com as her online platform, which allows her to share a video of her story and collect monetary donations.
For De Moya, this fundraising campaign is about her vision for her family and community.
“I want to do more than just be a nurse and do a shift in a hospital,” she said. “I have big dreams about communities. That’s what I love about Goshen College because it’s about the community. Oh! I just love that!”
De Moya moved to Goshen nearly three years ago so that her children could be a part of Goshen High School’s theater and arts programs. She came to the city inspired by its promise of diversity and evidence of community activism, as exemplified by organizations like the Maple City Health Clinic.
She began taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College with hopes of attending nursing school at Goshen College. Her dream: to serve women as a midwife.
After two traumatic birth experiences of her own and a chance to witness a homebirth, she decided to have natural births for her last two children. Inspired by the experiences, she wanted to help other women with childbirth.
“The biggest thing for me is,” she said, “I really know that it’s God’s calling on my life.”
De Moya is a certified doula, a birthing coach who supports women during and after their pregnancies. She is able to assist midwives and doctors during the birthing process while providing support for the mother. She began working as a doula while living in Texas when her children were young.
“Women started knocking on my door and said, ‘We heard you’re really good. Will you help us with our birth?’” she said. “It was clear to me that I had a passion and I had a calling, and that I was good at it.”
Her calling is what convinced her that she should begin a fundraising campaign to raise support for her education. At the urging of a friend, De Moya began making plans for the campaign.
“It took me a long time to wrap my mind around the fundraiser,” said De Moya, who said she initially felt uncomfortable asking for financial help. “It came to the point where I knew we had to do it because my kids need a future.”
Two friends met with her to begin writing a script for the video on her Indiegogo.com site. Benjie Aguilera Brown, a communication major and FiveCore Media production assistant at Goshen College, learned to know De Moya through mutual friends. He offered to create the video.
De Moya presented the script to Aguilera Brown, wondering if it could be produced. “It’s perfect!” he said. “I can do it!”
Aguilera Brown produced the video in one week, a project that he said normally takes several weeks.
“I don’t regret a minute of it,” he said, even after admitting to waking up at 4:50 a.m..to film De Moya at her CrossFit exercise class.
“He heard the story, and he saw the vision, and then he had the confidence that this would be great,” said De Moya.
“Everybody has needs, you know?” she said. Her willingness to ask for help, though, came after a realization.
“I’m not doing something that’s about myself – I’m do something that’s for humanity,” she said.
De Moya has a goal of raising $10,000 during her 45-day campaign on Indiegogo.com, which ends Dec. 29. She will use the money for her family’s living expenses until the end of the school year. So far, $4,195 has been raised.
“I’m hoping this will bridge a gap,” she said. “And if I get over that hump, then I think I can make it.”
Looking beyond this year, De Moya plans to continue searching for scholarships and student loans to contribute to her school expenses. Her 3.9 grade point average from previous classes she took at Ivy Tech proves that she is willing to work hard.
“I really want people to understand that if I’m given a chance, I’m not going to waste it, and I’m a hard worker,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “If people are willing to partner with me and help me, I’m going to be faithful.”
Faith, after all, is what carried her through the past three years, she said.
“There is no real physical reason that I should be here,” she said. “I don’t make enough money; I’m not the smartest girl in the world. There’s no reason why my needs are met, but they are, and I believe that’s from God.”