By mom, Heather Manning

As a parent, I believe nobody cares more about how my kids turn out than I do. Choice means that I have options to tailor my kids’ education to their particular needs. I didn’t have this kind of opportunity when I went to school or when my older children went to school.

My first two children are now in their thirties. They suffered tremendously during their school years and it impacted who they are as people now. While I will always be proud to be their mother, I am not proud that they were exposed to things that I wish I could have kept from them. Now I see that those very things have come back to haunt them.

I am in a unique position because I have children that are so far apart in age. To me, it’s as if I had two distinct chances at educating kids and now I can see the difference.

We moved to Florida when I remarried. When my younger children started school, there was no question that we wanted a faith-based school, but there was no way we could afford it. When we learned we were eligible for scholarships through Step Up for Students, we were just floored. How amazing that we can actually have a real choice with these kids?

My three younger children are now in high school and junior high and have been getting scholarships since kindergarten. They are straight A students at a college prep school. They are getting the head start in life that my older kids did not get. I will forever be grateful to Florida’s tax credit scholarship program for making it possible to choose my children’s education and give them the best chance at a great future!