My life thus far has been like a pendulum. I grew up in a homeschool environment spending the majority of my childhood outdoors. Most everything I learned was not from a textbook, but rather the product of observation and verbal interaction. I lacked the mental capacity to read for a considerably long duration.
It finally “clicked” when I was in fifth grade. Shortly afterwards, my life took a sudden turn and I found myself enrolled in the local public school. I was excited for the experience, and was ready to give it my all. However, as we all eventually learn, life is notorious for being unfair.
My experience at the public school proved to be demoralizing and cruel. I entered with hopes of friendship and knowledge, and was met with an onslaught of psychological abuse. Despite my ambitious endeavors to demonstrate affability and respect, I became the subject of disapprobation and ridicule.
“Unbeknownst to me, however, my mother was spending her own summer searching for a school where I – and the rest of my family – would be able to flourish.”
In retrospect, this is all a little ironic. The entire school is lined with posters saying “Fight Bullying!”, “Raise A Voice!”, etc., but the very teachers who were supposed to be protecting me were siding with the bullies! The school year drew to a close leaving me dreading the next – I was only twelve.
Summer came, and I was blessed with an opportunity to attend a camp – Camp Fatima. Initially I was reluctant to go, but after spending a few days there, I was more than happy to stay the entire summer. Those were perhaps the best six weeks of my life, but the silent threat of school was ever lingering on my mind. Unbeknownst to me, however, my mother was spending her own summer searching for a school where I – and the rest of my family – would be able to flourish. By the time summer camp was over, I discovered that had been admitted to a private school with the help of Children’s Scholarship Fund. I did not know what to expect.
September came and I found myself in a classy uniform walking through the doors of Mount Royal Academy. My class was a small collection of unique individuals, each amiable and welcoming. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the “popular kids“ were some of the nicest kids. The teachers were patient, kind, and humorous, and the small class sizes allowed them to provide private tutoring after school.
My rising grades lifted my confidence and awoke new ambition. Everyone was happy to have me, and soon enough I became part of the school family.
I have been flourishing in every aspect of life since I joined Mount Royal. I am headed towards a future of success, and owe it all Children’s Scholarship Fund and the various donors who make the program possible. This simple recognition of school choice rights has enabled myself, my family, and hundreds of other American students to unlock their potential as the next generation of great leaders, thinkers, and innovators, and should be extended to the rest of our great nation.