All of my life I have been enrolled in private schools, and as I have grown older, I have realized how important the scholarships are that my family has received. My family consists of four kids, Gianluca (19 yrs old), me (16 years old), Nico (11 years old) and Gemma (8 years old), who always keep our parents on their feet with sports and extracurricular activities.
My mom is an Italian immigrant and my dad is African American, and for as long as I can remember they have done everything in their power to give us the best life possible. They have always wanted us to receive the best education possible. For my mom especially, a big part of her “American Dream” when immigrating to the United States was someday raising successful kids who she could tell her family back home about.
Raising four kids is hard work enough, but finding the money to enroll all four kids in private schools is difficult. Growing up I didn’t realize how much of a commitment private schooling tuition is. Over the years, I have realized that my siblings and I would not be able to attend our schools had it not been for all of the scholarships we have received over the years. Not only this, but knowing how fortunate I am to be going to private schools has become a driving force for me to push myself even farther in academics because it is very important to me that my parents see that I am thankful for all they do.
I am so thankful for all of the scholarships I have received that have allowed my siblings and I to attend private school. My years in private schools have brought me friendships and memories that will be with me for the rest of my life. It has also exposed me to so many amazing opportunities and has brought me closer to God. On top of this, it has made me part of communities much bigger than myself and has opened my eyes to how unique every person is. Most importantly though, it has taught me to work hard for what I want, because in life things aren’t just handed to you. You have to work hard every day, and even when you feel like giving up, you have to keep fighting for what you want.
Read more about Elliana and why she supports expanding educational opportunity for all children here: Catholic Voice: Students testify to benefits of scholarship tax credits