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I am where I am today because my parents fought for me to learn in the environment that best met my needs. While my mom attended private schools, my dad was only able to attend his residentially assigned public schools, which prepared him for factory work, not higher education. Both of my parents agreed that they wanted me to go to a safe, Christian environment that set me up for success and could give me the extra medical attention I needed as someone who had open-heart surgery as a child.  

But when my dad lost his job during the most recent recession, my family scrambled to make ends meet and relied on food stamps for several years. Thankfully, I was able to attend a great private school thanks to financial aid from the school and the assistance of an anonymous donor.  

My parents worked tirelessly to keep me in the school, but their lack of knowledge about scholarships and educational opportunities made it difficult. My dad went back to school and got a job at an Air Force base in Florida, causing us to relocate with him.   

That’s when my parents found a perfect fit for my educational needs in Rocky Bayou Christian School.   

I thrived in and outside the classroom, participating in theater, choir, academic clubs, and several competitions. As happy as I was at my new school, the fact that I may have to leave due to my family’s financial situation always lingered in the back of my mind.   

In any other state, I might have had to leave the school when my parents income increased. But because Florida allowed siblings of students with disabilities to also receive a K-12 scholarship, I was able to stay at Rocky Bayou along with my little brother.   

Because of school choice, I graduated with honors as the valedictorian of my class. I am now attending Covenant College as a psychology major with a pre-law concentration and a community development minor.   

My goal is to help families flourish in the way that others helped me. 


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