Stef Gray, a 23-year-old New York college graduate, got a response from Sallie Mae, the nation's largest private lender, after posting a petition on Change.org asking the lender to stop charging the unemployed a penalty fee for deferring payments.
"I was absolutely stunned," Gray said. "I can't believe that it's blown up like this. It's made me feel empowered and optimistic."
Although Sallie Mae did not stop charging the fee, it did agree to apply it to the balance of the loan if on-time payments were made in full for six months in a row. Gray vowed to keep fighting -- along with the more than 120,000 people that signed her petition -- until Sallie Mae does away with the fee all together.
At the Park School, Wells' students said they were proud of their successful petition and already had their sights set on other causes.
"I think it really made me think that we're not just kids," Mikayla said. "We can be really powerful in many different ways."