My name is Ashalah Taylor and I am currently a senior at Wisconsin Lutheran College. The choice program is important to me and to people who know what it means to come from where I am from. The choice program made attending a private institute that has tuition a possibility for me and my peers. This would not have been attainable for me or my family had it not been for the voucher.
The education I received made me who I am today and essentially set me up on the path to be successful in college. My freshman year in high school I never thought that I would be attending college, let alone being so close to finishing my degree. My freshman year in college my grandmother had to pay $7,000 out of pocket for me to attend school. That was not an easy thing to do seeing as though I don’t come from a family of money.
I had no clue how I was going to fund the rest of my college career after that. The family that the voucher put into place for me, meaning former teachers and principals, reached out and used their networks to make something happen for me. You do not build those types of bonds at any school and I can only thank the voucher that allowed me to be in that environment to make those connections.
The Milwaukee choice program is special and sets students who do not have the means to be successful up with the right tools and the path to get to where they want to be. I am not saying anything is wrong with public school because I have never been to one. I am only speaking from the experience that the voucher allowed me to have, the same experience I want children after me to be able to experience. This voucher and this program have set many people up for success and I believe it will continue to do so as long as we stand behind it.