Hello. My name is Christine Austin. I am a 26 year old single female, with no children. I am currently a full-time student at a local college in Ohio. I am working on two degrees in the computer field. I have physical and mental health problems including: Bipolar disorder, Bickerstaff's Syndrome (untreated can lead to stroke or death), cardiac arrhythmia( irregular heartbeat), and narcolepsy( fall asleep without notice due to sleep disordered breathing and cardiac arrhythmia). I am sad to say that our lawmakers have let down many college students in the low-to-no income category. I began attending college in 2003 when I came to the realization that the only way I would be able to obtain a job where I would make enough money to get off of public assistance and still be able to cover my expensive medications would be through a college education. I have been getting assistance through the food stamp program during my entire college education. The day before yesterday I received notice that informed me that my assistance was being terminated. I called the case worker to find out why. According to her, some lawmakers have made the decision to not allow ANY college student over 17 years old and under 50 years old without a child under 12(if the parent is single) or 6(if parents are married) to receive food stamp assistance, regardless of income, or lack of income, unless they meet certain criteria that they set as a disability. I have basically been told that I have three choices: drop out of college, have a child, or forget about receiving public assistance I was told that IF I dropped out of college I could get the assistance back immediately and that IF I got pregnant, not only would I get the assistance back, but it would increase. Without assistance from the food stamp program until I graduate, I will be forced to spend what small amount of money I DO get for food, which would have been my gas money to and from school, and insurance for my car. Without the medicaid program to assist me until I graduate, my medical conditions will get so severe to most likely result in long term hospitalization, stroke, or death. What is this country coming to I am trying to better myself by going to college and not having any children until I can financially care for myself, and I am being penalized. Please sign the petition below and help me send the message to our lawmakers that it is not right to penalize someone for trying to go to college to get off the system, while rewarding those who drop-out of school, or have child after child. We need to speak for the poverty stricken college students. Please sign the petition. Please pass this petition on to all of your college friends, anyone thinking of college, and public assistance recipients WE NEED 100,000 signatures to get this law modified.