A Chaguanas father is making a desperate plea to the public for any assistance that can help reduce the financial burdens he faces in his attempts to fund his daughter's last few months in a US college.
Speaking to the Newsday in an interview, Paul Tobitt shared that his 23-year-old daughter Anella Tobitt is currently enrolled at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York pursuing a degree in fraud investigation and financial forensics.
"She is doing very well academically. She has been on the dean's list from the first semester," said Paul.
Anella maintains a GPA of 3.85.
Anella previously pursued a degree in accounting at the University of the Southern Caribbean. Due to her performance in the programme, she was able to transfer her credits to the John Jay College which has granted her the ability to complete her current course of studies in just under two years as opposed to four years. She is expected to graduate in May 2020.
Though Paul had retired from his job in the defence force several years ago, he sought employment in 2013 with a private company. He had also planned ahead of funding any eventual studies for Anella by creating a savings account.
It was on these savings and income that Paul sought to fund Anella's way through the US-based college. Those plans were, however, thrown off course when Paul was forced to leave his job three months ago.
Describing the cost of Anella's studies, Paul said, "It costs roughly TT$120,000 per semester."
In a tight financial situation Paul says the pressures of funding his daughter's studies have become overwhelming.
The family is now aiming to raise US$20,000. This will help with the remaining tuition and accommodation fees for Anella's last few months of studies.
"She has just started working, but has not collected her first salary as yet."
In addition to starting a GoFundMe page, Paul is also teaming up with the Svaada Restaurant in St James for a fundraiser.
"The partnership with the restaurant would be done over a period of time." The fund-raising initiative which starts this week will give patrons the options of purchasing $50 meal tickets from which proceeds will go towards Anella.
Anella spoke briefly to the Newsday via phone from New York. Describing the experience thus far at the college she says, "It's really interesting. You get different perspectives."
Revealing her current degree was inspired by her love for law and accounting she said, "It's a balance between both and I enjoy it."
Anella says that white collar crime is not something that most people are aware of and the issue is damaging to not only businesses but also customers. She hopes to tackle this issue though as she said, "If I can assist I am all for it.
"I definitely want to come back to TT because the degree will be useful to the anti-fraud unit." She hopes to work her way up and help change the system.
She is asking anyone that can lend a helping hand to reach out.
"The help will be important. Wherever I get help from I want people to see it was not in vain."
Anyone interested in helping Anella can contact Paul Tobitt at 774-0102.