Why are you a Voice for Choice?
I am a voice for choice because I believe in the future of our children; it is the future of our people. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to advance here in America. I grew up amidst a family that values education very, very much. My mom was a teacher and my father is a pastor. My father instilled strong educational values in our family. When I was very little, he said that there are three things that are most important in your life. He said: “number one: God, because he’s your Creator. He said, number two: your family. Your family is important because you need them and they need you. Number three: education, because education empowers you to live.”
Education teaches you how to live a better life. It teaches you how to earn a better living. It teaches you how to serve one another and to love your neighbor. You don’t know how to do any of that. You have to educate your mind so that you can better serve those around you. Those are the main three most important values that were instilled in me. From that moment forward, I asked myself “when is the best time to be educated?” When you’re an adult, you’ve already learned your habits. You’ve learned your ways. And it’s a lot harder to reverse and to undo what’s been done, but as a child, you’re just ready. You’re open, you’re a sponge. That’s the best time to be educated and to learn habits. That’s why I decided to support the cause of school choice and to join those who are helping children become the best that they can be.
Tell me a little bit about the work you’re doing to promote education freedom.
Some of the work that I do now involves taking what we know about school choice and breaking it down to families across Arizona. That starts with the question: “how much do you value your child’s education?” That’s the question that I start with.
“That starts with the question: “how much do you value your child’s education?” “
How do I get there? We start with events. We start by giving back to those in need, to the families that are been somewhat forgotten. These families want more, but they don’t know where to start. So we’ll have backpack drives, we’ll have toy drives, food drives, scholarship events, we’ll do anything that helps attract the families. We show them that there’s an opportunity to get something tangible for your family right now, and we educate them about potential opportunities to use school choice to get better education for their children.
We ask, “did you know that there are scholarships in your state that you can use to pay for private education?” Very few people are aware of these programs, but most people are curious. That’s where we begin to really ask them, well, how much do you value your child’s education? Do you like their school? Are you happy with your school’s results, services, curriculum, and how they are taking care of your child? We take this information across Arizona, whether it’s a church, whether it’s a community event, whether it’s a small group or big group of families.
We’re taking it to every demographic. We’re taking it to the Latino, Hispanic community. I’m a Latina, Hispanic, I come from a very humble beginning with my family, and we believe in freedom and we believe in educational choice because that’s what really allowed me to find the values that drive me today. So now I want to give back and that’s the reason why I want to go to those neighborhoods, to those cities that may seem small and may seem forgotten, but they’re not because they’re at the forefront of what we do here.
What else would you like to leave with those who are gonna read your story?
I’d like to let anyone who reads this know that when you empower a mind with education, especially your child’s, you really set a pathway for possibilities that are beyond what you could even imagine. I was raised in a family of six kids. My mom had six children and my mom didn’t have all the money in the world. We didn’t come from a rich family, but she had the will. She had a desire and she wanted her children to be successful. She worked very hard. We could not afford private education. In fact, none of us went to private schools. However, she sought out for the best public school that she could find for us. And at that time, the schools that we chose were the best. Had she known about these scholarships, my goodness, she would have jumped all over it and taken us to a private school so that we can continue to nurture the values that she was giving us at home.
“If you just want a little more for your child, I would encourage you to do your homework, ask questions, involve your kids and stay involved in their education.”
Now I tell families, I tell parents, this is available to you. If you just want a little more for your child, I would encourage you to do your homework, ask questions, involve your kids and stay involved in their education. You’ll be surprised that in the future, they’re going to go farther than you ever thought. I tell my dad this because I’m so grateful for my father. He is big on Christian education. I tell him, “Dad if I can see far it’s because I’m on the shoulders of giants.” I’m just very grateful for school choice. Now I want to make sure that more families have the same opportunity.