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PROGRAM — Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I am Black and Puerto Rican. I am going to start at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee this fall. 

My family is a crazy bunch. I am the oldest child. My brother is 16 and my sister is 8. I work in a cleaning company with my mom. It helps my mom and it helps me with college tuition.

I attended public school until 7th grade. That was a rough experience and hard to deal with. The school was very violent. There was not very much support and education was not prioritized. I did not take it seriously and was not encouraged to study. I got in trouble a lot for not paying attention. That’s when my mom knew I needed a change. My grandmother also weighed in on the decision. 

“I started being excited when it came to school. I started wanting to push myself further.”

I did not have a lot of freedom when it came to choosing my schools. My mom wanted to choose the best school for me. She thought private schools were the way to go. At first I did not like the idea, but was willing to give it a try. Compared to my public school, my private school education was amazing. We had one-on-one time with teachers and I felt we were really learning. 

My education took off from there. I started being excited when it came to school. I started wanting to push myself further. When it came to looking for a high school, I knew what I wanted. I wanted a place that challenged me and where I could get the help I needed, including preparing me for college. 

Upon learning about Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, it seemed like a good fit. They had unique opportunities and so much support from the teachers. I began to connect with the school. I’m proud of the education I received there. In addition to AP courses, Cristo Rey really assisted us in preparing for college by exposing us to the college setting. 

I feel all families should have school choice. Everyone deserves that opportunity. Minority groups weren’t born with certain privileges. School choice policies gives more students hope to get the type of education available to others. Education is really important and necessary to succeed in life. It also teaches you how to stand up and advocate for yourself.


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