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NEFERTARI LEE

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I have two recipients of school choice at Calvert Hall College High School. We have been recipients for two years now through the Boost Scholarship. I have become as active as I can be through the Boost parent network, meeting with legislators, delegates, and people in the senate. Going to my monthly town hall meetings has educated me and has become so important navigating this process through the scholarships.

I heard about Boost two years ago and simply wanted to know where the money was coming from and how it was funded. So I started researching and got involved that way. I became legally separated two years ago so my financial dynamics changed within the household. My children were already private school educated and I was looking for ways to continue their education, but I kept finding door after door closed.

I heard about the Boost program and found out that I qualified. With or without Boost, I believe that all parents should be advocates for their children; they should be involved. I made myself involved in the program to get the word out, I found so many people who were not aware of the Boost program. So, getting the word out, helping with applications, just being involved as much and as possible to help and see this program continue to thrive and grow.

“I wanted my children to be in a smaller classroom setting with schools that could broaden their horizons through education.”

Now, we need more money. I found out this program operated on $5 million two years ago and I don’t know how. With $10 million, we’re struggling. The cost of tuition doubles and sometimes triples for high school alone, so finding money was vital. I believe that every child that qualifies deserves a great opportunity at a nonpublic school if that’s the choice of the family. That’s our choice in my household.

School choice is so important. Coming from Baltimore City, I wanted my children in a safe environment. I didn’t want them to go to school with some of the people who lived in the neighborhood that I knew sold drugs or weren’t there to learn. I wanted my children to be in a smaller classroom setting with schools that could broaden their horizons through education.

Bryce, my 16-year-old, traveled all over New York this summer. He never would have had that opportunity anywhere else. He is the only African American out of 96 soccer players at Calvert Hall. They’re learning about him, he’s learning about them, and we’re breaking down barriers and changing things. He’s already learning discipline. His high school schedule is set up for higher learning.

Sometimes it’s not always about just education; it’s about giving children an opportunity to make networks and connections in places they might not have had other chances to do so. When our eldest passed, my daughter’s school shut the school and bused kids to his funeral. Calvert Hall put structure in place so the boys would still be able to come to school, and have extra time, to grieve. Having God first in your life, that’s something to be said and I think that’s why they are able to still thrive through that process of tragedy that we see so often in Baltimore. Schools are not just schools, they’ve become other resources that your children have, and that’s our choice.

BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE
BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE