PROGRAM — Empower Scholarship Account

I immigrated to the USA when I got married, and I come from a family that values education greatly. My mom said that a good education was the best inheritance that she could leave us with, so my husband and I decided to prioritize education with our children. Since we both earned bachelor’s degrees, we dream that our kids will earn master’s degrees or doctorate’s in the future.

I’m passionate about helping families to achieve success in their children’s academic life, so I started advocating in Arizona for my in-laws and friends, helping through internet sites to find good schools by reading the reviews of schools, types of programs, letter grades, etc. Later I found out that the U.S. public school system is different from that of Mexico thanks to my participation in the ASU-American Dream Academy Program, in which I worked for 10+ years. During this time I met Gaby Ascencio and saw the wonderful work that she did in ASU and the work she does now in American Federation for Children. I asked her how I could join her team and in March 2007, I started with the American Federation for Children as an advocate engaging with parents to both educate and assist in applying for our school choice program (Empower Scholarship Account).

I wanted to become an advocate because I’m passionate about serving and supporting families in the field of education and giving back a little of how much the community has given me. My oldest daughter is now a junior in high school. But when she went to preschool I didn’t know that the state of Arizona had school choice, and I lived three blocks from the boundaries of the school district that I wanted for her. I learned about the open enrollment program and the waiting list to access the kindergarten in that district, so we paid for preschool, and then she entered elementary school automatically. That also inspired me to become an advocate and help parents to navigate the many educational opportunities because some parents don’t know how exactly to put their children in the school that best fits them.

“Those kids should have access to the services that they need! “

What motivates me to continue advocating for education is encouraging parents to have the freedom to choose and receive a high-quality education for their children, especially those whose potential is overlooked because of their skin color, ZIP code, or disabilities. Those kids should have access to the services that they need!

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