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My parents came to America because it held the promise of a better future for their children. They didn’t want me or my siblings to drop out of school like they had to.    

I attended my local public school right across from our apartment. However, in fifth grade my teacher suggested to my mom that she should find a private school for me for my middle school years. Where I’m from, the private options for middle and high school were considered significantly better than the public options. But it was a huge shift for my parents to start to pay for education when it was first free.   

My parents enrolled me in a local private school, but after a year they realized that it wasn’t the best fit for me. My grades dipped and I was not thriving. My parents started looking for other options. Luckily, they found Our Lady Queen of Angels, a high performing Catholic school nearby.   

Before applying to the school, my mom spoke with the principal about financial aid, but my grades were too low to qualify. In other states, scholarships exist to help students like me, those falling behind, but currently those options are very limited in New York.  

This meant my grades had to go up, and I had to work hard to obtain a scholarship to continue attending this school. All my hard work paid off in my first semester. I saw my grades improve drastically and I went from a C student to a B student quickly. My efforts were not in vain, the school noticed my hard work and that resulted in me receiving financial aid from the Children’s Scholarship Fund.   

This scholarship not only helped me, but also my brother. At Our Lady Queen of Angels, I excelled and graduated as one of the top students in the school.  

My brothers now have the same opportunity that I have had for a great education, the kind my parents wanted for us.   

After middle school, I attended a private high school where I continued to excel.    

I am now a first-generation student pursuing my degree in computer science at Fordham University.   

I wouldn’t have gotten very far if it were not for this scholarship. I saw my parents struggle, and I had to struggle just to get aid to attend a school that fit my needs.   

No child, no family, no person should have to choose between a good school and paying the bills. 


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