NEW YORK - Maggie is an average college student who attends the University of Maryland, College Park.
She does however have a not-so-average part-time job that helps her pay for college… and then some.
She’s a student by day and an exotic dancer by night.
“Sometimes a student by night and a stripper by day. It depends,” Maggie (no last name) said.
She’s double majoring in Spanish and political science and unlike many of her peers at the University of Maryland, she will graduate debt free. Every other weekend she takes a three-hour train ride to Manhattan to a club where she dances.
There is still a good segment of our society that believes it’s degrading to be a stripper, a reality that is not lost on Maggie.
“It can be,” she said. “There are times that it feels like that.”
But Maggie does take home, she said, about $180,000 a year—far more than the average college expense. And she's not alone. There are 24 other women at the same club where Maggie dances who say they’re also putting themselves through school.
“My parents, when they found out, were totally horrified,” Maggie said.
But Maggie said stripping has afforded her the time to study and she makes more in one night dancing than she does working 40 hours a week waiting tables.
“I have felt so much more disrespected as a waitress than I ever have ever felt as a dancer,” Maggie said. “Because your job [in a restaurant] is to serve them and in this, your job is to accompany them.”
Maggie said she knows she only has a limited number of years in this line of work.