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Chicago film student struggles to pay tuition, work and going to school full time.

Freezing, Tessana Nemenski enters her apartment after a long night of shooting footage for her production class in the frigid February Chicago wind.  She tries to warm up and unwind with a steaming hot shower, but it doesn’t work.

Nemenski in her apartment by Joe Blow

Nemenski in her apartment

Nearly 2 a.m., a worn and cold Nemenski has to sleep on the floor again tonight. But sleep is not coming.

Nemenski has very little furniture: an old wooden rocking chair and a folding card table. Her only other possessions are a closet overflowing with clothes, a couple boxes of comic books and artist-signed sketches of her favorite comic book hero, Daredevil.

Early the next morning Nemenski has to wake up for a full day of work and classes, just like every day of the week. “Some days I feel like pulling out my hair,” Nemenski said. Payments are due and late fees are adding up. She cannot enroll for the next semester


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