In the latest Public Problems, Suffolk Solutions, Suffolk University addresses student debt—an issue affecting one million college students nationwide. In 2014, the total amount of student debt soared to $1.2 trillion. In an age when students owe an average of $29,000, it pays to be financially literate.

Victoria Ireton, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, found herself homeless in 2008, living with her family in an extended stay motel. Driven by this experience to educate others, she created a financial literacy curriculum for her fellow Suffolk students. As a teaching assistant, Victoria empowers her peers to borrow smartly and avoid the debt trap.

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Get to Know Victoria

Hometown: North Andover, Massachusetts

Major: Dual major in Government and Philosophy; in the University Honors Program

Extracurricular Activity: Housing & Facilities Chair of the Student Government Association

Reason for Choosing Suffolk: I was awarded a Trustees Scholarship. I also came for the location. You can’t beat being behind the State House when you’re a government major!

Where I’ve Interned: MassHousing and Scholars Strategy Network

Favorite Thing About Suffolk: The Government Department is my home away from home! Plus, Department Chair Rachael Cobb and office coordinator Kelly Pinard are inspirational, intelligent women. I met them when I was a freshman and they have been instrumental in my career so far, building my confidence to achieve my goals and telling me that I’m capable of doing anything I put my mind to.

Advice for New Suffolk Students: Think before you borrow! Embrace city life: Suffolk is unlike any other college when it comes to that. And don’t second-guess any decision that makes you happy.