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92%

Experience with Program Satisfaction

When asked to indicate how well their child’s experience matched with why they applied for the program, 92% indicated ‘extremely well’ or ‘very well’.

University 89.7%

Public to Private School Satisfaction

Of those families who were entering a private school directly from a public school, 89.7% indicated ‘extremely well’ or ‘very well’.

91%

Public Charter to Private School Satisfaction

Of those families who were entering a private school directly from a public charter school, 91% indicated ‘extremely well’ or ‘very well’.

Jada O., Student

When I was in the public middle school, it was difficult because I didn’t understand the things that they taught. Like in my math class, they taught math one way and I didn’t understand it.

I would always stress and tell my mom, I can’t do this. I can’t learn this way. And when I came here, my teachers taught me strategies and other ways to learn how to do the math. Wolcott School really helps because they teach you a variety of ways to help you learn best…People should be very proud when they donate to people who can’t afford to go to really good schools–go to schools that would actually help them and take the time to listen and just really take the time out of their day to help students, whether they have a learning difference or not. They make a difference in people’s lives. And that if they weren’t here giving their money and supporting people like me who need a scholarship to go to a school that really helps them, then none of that would be possible. And they should be very proud, and I will be very thankful for all of those people.”

Brianna Y., Student

Both my parents came here at a young age. They’re immigrants and they wanted something better for us. They wanted something better for their families. Before we started receiving financial aid, my parents were working 15 hours a day, nonstop. So, having the opportunity to receive this scholarship is giving them more time to be with us, which is very great for us, for my siblings and I. We’re spending more time with our family. I’m a recipient of a tax credit scholarship, as well as my younger brother. Without that scholarship, we probably would have been going to the local public schools, which aren’t as great as my Catholic school is. I feel part of a community. People are welcoming here, and I’m learning values and life lessons that I’ll carry on throughout college, my life, high school, everywhere, that are irreplaceable to me. I’m striving to go to an Ivy League school, God willingly, and in college, I would like to become a neonatal physician. My motivation is for my parents. I want to repay them in the future, to do something better for everything that they’ve given my family.”

Jasmine B., Mother

Jasmine is the mother of three students at St. Patrick Catholic School in Springfield. Two of her kids had attended public schools, but she felt they were just a number, and did not get their needs met. Jasmine attended St. Patrick herself, but could not afford to send her kids to the school she felt was “home” to her.

During the 2019-2020 school year, however, she received a full tuition scholarship for both her older children. This enabled them to afford a school that addresses their special needs, including odd work schedules and low-income. She was also able to send her daughter to dance class, and her son was able to play Little League. Without the scholarships, this would not have been possible. God had His eye on Jasmine’s family.

Jasmine was instrumental in protecting the Invest in Kids Act in the 2019 legislative session, making several trips to the state Capitol. Her story was one of hope and encouragement, as she explained how much the Invest in Kids Act had changed the dynamics of her family’s education.”

Theresa G., Mother

As a single mother of five children, I am forever grateful to Empower Illinois. While my oldest has graduated, my four daughters were in limbo this past school year. My children have attended Catholic schools since they were three years old, but I have to struggled to make ends meet in recent years, and I was concerned I could no longer pay for tuition. I prayed for a miracle everyday. The school district we live in is overcrowded and underperforming, so I knew I would do all I could keep them in Catholic schools, but I did not know if it would be possible. I reluctantly registered them for the fall and within a few weeks I received word of my award from Empower Illinois. I literally cried tears of joy. It was an overwhelming sense of relief to know my children could continue receiving a quality education.”

Angela M., Mother

Without the Empower Illinois scholarship, I would not be able to afford to send my children to a great school. I am a single mother of two children. My son is a junior in high school, in all honor and AP classes. Last year, I qualified for the Empower Illinois scholarship, and it helped me out tremendously! I was finally able to breathe and not have to worry about how I was going to make ends meet. My daughter is in Kindergarten, her father passed away in the beginning of August. With the help of this scholarship, I was able to keep her in the school that I trusted and believed would be the best for her. She is growing, and her teachers are going above and beyond to help make sure she is more than ready for 1st grade. I wouldn’t want to take her from that.”

Michael T., Grandfather

As a single grandparent of two school children it is very difficult to provide them with all the tools and some basic items they require to be healthy and successful. Thanks to this program, my granddaughter is able to attend a school that will help her gain confidence, and the skills she will need. Without the help we have been able to prosper from, I don’t know what we’ll do next year.”

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