William Wakefield-Padilla - Kettering University

My family and I have been severely impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. My mother has a startup balloon business, where she makes balloon art and props for many events, from birthday parties, to professional corporate business networking events for hundreds of people. Being a supplier for her clients, she depended greatly on events to bring money back home, as she was the main breadwinner. But with all of her events being canceled, she can no longer financially support our family as she had for these past few months. My grandfather and father have had to work double and two jobs each to make up for the loss. We are trying best to mitigate our current financial situation, but the pandemic is also taking an emotional toll on our family. As of last week, my great-grandmother has passed away, and I was unable with friends and family to go to her funeral since our funeral home has canceled it under orders from President Trump for gatherings of 10 people or less. While I still got to get a virtual viewing of her, it broke my heart to not be able to be there to say goodbye one last time. Our family instead of being able to be physically to support each other in this current predicament and for her passing, we have had to physically isolate ourselves from each other. I am in Michigan, and my grandparents and parents are separated from homes.

Despite the current pandemic affecting us hard, we have always been a resourceful family. My mother is currently trying to find a new job in the meantime, which would still be difficult since fewer companies are hiring, but it would help nonetheless. I am currently working full-time to also help with our family finances. However, with uncertainty in the future, it cannot be guaranteed that our financial situation will resolve itself before COVID-19 runs its course.

William Wakefield-Padilla

William is a sophomore at Kettering University pursuing Applied Mathematics and Computer science dual-major. As part of the university's co-op program, he has worked in the health insurance industry and on government websites to help the community be better informed about their healthcare and their rights. My proudest achievement so far is the Water Crusader project, I am pushing forward to help communities achieve better water quality, and the project can be followed on my LinkedIn. (https://www.linkedin.com/william-j-wakefield).