SAMANTHA JONES

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Without school choice, I would not be where I am today. Growing up in a low-income household with a single mom of four girls, we could not afford a quality education. School supplies were something I looked forward to every year. I was on the free lunch program in each of the six elementary schools I attended, all in the lower income neighborhoods of Brandon, MS and Tucson, AZ. I’ve moved 19 times in my life. Yet school was always a place where I could succeed. However, the public-school system did not provide me with the opportunities and educational development I needed.

Without school choice, I would not be where I am today.

School choice allowed me the opportunity to attend a private school, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy, from 6th through 12th grade. My mom worked hard to provide for us and help me, and later my sisters, be accepted into this school. However, the tuition was over $8,000 a year, so without the Arizona tax refund program, I would not have been able to attend. Having the choice to go to a private school offered me the opportunities that public school could not. I had smaller class sizes, more rigorous courses, and relationships with peers and teachers. In high school I was a member of the National Honors Society, was class secretary sophomore and senior year, took multiple AP classes, and graduated third in my class. Through school vouchers, I was able to afford taking my AP exams and SAT tests, which got me accepted into over 10 colleges and universities, including Pepperdine University, Seattle Pacific University, and Northern Arizona University. I was offered a total of over $525,000 in merit scholarships. None of this would have been possible without school choice. I am now at Northern Arizona University studying to be an art teacher in at-risk inner-city schools.



What are three of your personal proof points that school choice works?

    • School choice gave me the opportunities needed to beat the statistics of poverty. I was able to prep and take the AP tests and SAT exams that got me accepted into college as a first-generation student.
    • I can now help other students trapped by the system of unequal education and poverty.
    • Without school choice, students are stuck within the confines of their zip code. All children should have an equal opportunity to get a quality education despite social class.

BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE
BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE