PROGRAM — Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

My name is Angelina Severino. I am a freshman at Lincoln Christian University. For high school and middle school, I attended Victory Christian Academy. I first heard about Victory through my sister who was trying to transfer to the school. At first, I was not interested in my sister’s school at all, but I went to the interview with her. After hearing what Victory Christian was all about, I became very interested. Victory promised a good Christian environment that was all about helping students. They make that promise every day.

At the time, I was attending Rochelle School for the Arts. I was interested in music and Rochelle is considered to be the best arts middle school in my county. Despite its high ratings for arts programs, the environment of the school was not beneficial to my growth. Unfortunately, I had a negative experience at Rochelle. There was a lot of destructive competition between students and a portion of the teachers did not show the students the respect they deserved. This environment fed a lot of my bad behavior and created a strain on my relationship with God. I desperately needed a change, so I followed my sister to Victory.

Going to Victory was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Without the Step Up for Students scholarship, coming here would not have been possible. At Victory, I felt like I’d turned 180 degrees. One of the things I noticed right away was that the teachers showed respect to everyone. By showing respect to the students, the teachers created a healthy relationship with us, gaining our respect as well. Teachers here don’t want to just teach you; they want to build a relationship with you so you are more comfortable coming to them when you need help.

Once I found my place at Victory, other things started lining up as well: my grades, participation in sports, and most importantly, my relationship with God. I was worried for such a long time about my faith and even the church was not helping. Victory provided a place for me to not only understand my faith but to ask questions about it. That is something I never would have gotten at a public school. Since Victory is a Christian School, it promotes an environment where religion is not taboo. I never felt ashamed of who I am, and my friends were always right beside me, reinforcing a good and healthy environment.

At some point, Victory became my home away from home. I wanted to spend more and more time at my school than I ever thought was possible. School even provided me with more time with my mom. She works constantly to support us and still manages to make it to every game and school event. Her support and the support of my Victory Christian family have led me to become a person that I am proud of.

“I don’t want to imagine where I would be without the scholarship.”

Victory also provided me with so many opportunities to thrive. I play three sports: basketball, cheerleading, and soccer. In December, I signed to play soccer and basketball for Lincoln Christian University in Illinois. I am majoring in sports management so I can go into coaching, and help other student-athletes like me. I don’t want to imagine where I would be without the scholarship. There are other students just like me who need something different, for whatever reasons they may have. I believe that nobody should be denied that opportunity.

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