My first encounter with private school was in high school. In my elementary and middle school, I struggled a lot with reading. I was never a strong reader. In fifth grade I was at the third grade reading level. So my mom enrolled me in Boys Town to try to help my reading progress, because I was very far behind.
My mom felt I wasn’t getting the attention and help I needed in public school. I wasn’t getting enough one on one time with teachers. My middle school was very large. My class had approximately 400 students. So my mom felt if I came to a smaller school, I would get the help I needed. Now my entire school has a total of 300 students. I can name every person here. I think that’s a really good quality to have in a school, to be close knit and to be like a family.
At Roncalli, I get much more one on one time with teachers. I come in before and after school to get help, which I was never able to do before. Now I am in an honors reading class and am passing with an A. I’m proud of that and I think my mom is also very proud of how far I’ve come and how much my school has helped me achieve.
My mom is a nurse and has been for about eight years. She went back to school while at the same time raising my siblings and I as a single mom. That really inspires me to strive. I used to be unable to read a book, and now I can stay along with the class. But my favorite subjects are science and math. My dream is to attend Michigan State after I graduate from Roncalli and I want to be a nurse specializing in emergency medicine.
My mom chose Roncalli because she knew I’d get the one on one attention I wouldn’t get anywhere else. She was debating the decision because we are not as financially stable as some families. But I received a scholarship my freshman year and my sophomore year that made her decision possible. I also do Building Pride, which helps my mom out a lot financially.
“I get much more one on one time with teachers. I come in before and after school to get help, which I was never able to do before. Now I am in an honors reading class and am passing with an A.”
I know it’s hard for my mom to take care of three kids by herself. The scholarships I receive help her save money for things my sister may need, or my brother may need, just so I can come here. And I know my mom is happy I can attend Roncalli. She feels that it’s safer and knows I’m going to school, getting help, and striving, especially with reading.
From an education standpoint, Roncalli challenges me a lot more than my past schools. I work harder to keep my grades and GPA high. In my other school, I could have a 4.0, even if I flunked a test, or quiz, or didn’t turn in a paper. At Roncalli, you have to study and work hard and put effort into something you want. Roncalli helps me do that so I can have a brighter future.
The ability to pay for private school is not necessarily a matter of working hard. Some families may have a together home and others may not. My family’s ability to pay tuition is based off of one income. My mom worked at a daycare for ten years and she had a degree in child development, but she worked really hard so she could go back to school. She’s a nurse today and she works hard. But one income cannot support a sophomore, a seventh grader, and a kindergartner at the same time. That income cannot support the clothes, the school, and the materials we may need.
Kids’ opportunity shouldn’t be limited because they come from a home with one income instead of two. In every situation, parents should have a choice. If someone wants a better education, that should be a choice. No child should have to settle for less and give up on their dreams because of their family’s financial situation.