GIA SPED-BURRELL

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I just finished eighth grade and next fall I will be a freshman in high school. I am the third generation in my family to graduate from St. Marcus grade school. It’s where my mom, dad, and Grandma went. But at first I attended a different school where the level of education wasn’t what I needed and I wasn’t challenged. So my mom wanted me to go to a better school where I could better myself. 

St. Marcus is a really good school with a lot of learning opportunities. Every year we do a trip that teaches us about history, such as the people who fought to build this country and African American history. 

I have a very large family. Education is very important to our family and making sure we excel and do something with our lives. My family wants us to go out into the world and make a change and be our better selves. 

Next year I will attend Martin Luther high school. I chose this school because I feel like it’s going to push me. It also gives me more freedom. It’s a larger school where I can grow and break out of my shell. My mom wants that for me and for me to be surrounded by new people. 

The public school in my neighborhood is very chaotic. The teachers don’t have a lot of control over the students. This is no unity or structure. I feel in private schools teachers are more invested. 

For example, my math teacher, Ms. Harris, was always pushing us to do better. We had the lowest scores before but this year was our best year in terms of test scores. She said we don’t want 40% because that was our base goal. Instead, she said we wanted 100%. We almost made it. We had 94% proficient or advanced. 

When I finish high school, I want to go to Clark College in Atlanta and become a pediatric registered nurse. I really like babies and they have a really good program. It’s also an HBCU. 

In America, school choice is more of a privilege than a right because not all students have it. But I had the privilege of growing up with a choice program. Since we have a lot of kids in my family there’s not that much money in general to have to pay for every kid’s school to get a very good education. So the fact that we have choices is helping us move forward and have a great education. 

I think it’s important for other families to have school choice. Parents do work hard to pay tuition but some tuition is just very high. For parents who want to give their kids a great education — maybe a better education than what they had — but they have bigger problems than just tuition for their children. They have bills, rent, car notes. So having choice frees up some of that money to go towards bills. Choice gives great opportunities to families who need it. 

BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE
BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE