My story begins as little girl with two big puffs in my hair and a head filled with dreams and aspirations. That girl’s dream was, and still is, to become a world-renowned chef and future restaurant owner. That girl would sit for hours on end watching Tiana accomplish her dream of opening her own restaurant in The Princess and the Frog. That girl would sit and watch unlimited episodes of cooking shows on the cooking channel. That is the girl I want to talk about.

My parents have always been supportive of my dreams and have done much to ensure that I can make them come true. When we heard about the chance at gaining a better education at Academy Prep Center of Tampa, my family did all that they could to make sure that I would attend. This amazing school set up my siblings and me on a successful path and continuously pushed us to be the best. With the help of the Step Up for Students Scholarship, I was able to continue my education in private school at Tampa Catholic High School.

This scholarship didn’t just provide me with educational options, it also allowed my older and younger siblings to attend private schools such as Jesuit High School, Academy of the Holy Names High School, and Tampa Catholic High School from Academy Prep. We continued this great track, which led us all to attend major universities, such as the University of South Florida, Florida State University, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. There is a lot to live up to with my older siblings being so successful in their lives, but because I have been set up with the fundamental tools to reach my achievements, I feel prepared.

I am currently attending Florida State University and I know that because of Academy Prep and Step Up for Students, I was able to gain a better education and be as successful as I am today.

The ability to better educate your children should be a right that everyone has. Wanting your child to be successful is one of the most fundamental aspects of being a parent. Because of school choice, my siblings and I were put on a road to success that led us into an improved academic life and achievement of job specializations.

“Every family should be able to provide their child(ren) with the education that fits their needs, regardless of financial status.”

Every family should be able to provide their child(ren) with the education that fits their needs, regardless of financial status. My parents, two immigrants, can say that they have very successful children. Because that financial burden was lifted, my family can celebrate our accomplishments rather than having the continuous stress of having to pay for us to go to school.

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