My wife and I live in Springfield with our four children. We both grew up with parents as teachers who stressed the importance of education. I first heard about the Tax Credit Scholarship Program from my brother, who is a principal, at a family gathering. He said, “you should be all in on this program,” and he was right.
Our oldest child just graduated from Sacred Heart-Griffin (SHG) High School. The school really promotes academic excellence and develops a well-rounded student who can enter the world and be successful. I’ve been on the SHG Board for three years, so I know the profound impact of these scholarships. Empower Illinois makes this type of education more affordable for families in need. It also supplements institutional funds so we can use that money to continually improve SHG education for all students. The dream is to offer tax credit scholarships to every SHG student who qualifies and remove the financial barrier to a great education.
And in addition to your gift helping a child access their best-fit school, the 75% state tax credit you receive as a donor is great. My first-time donating was a bit cumbersome, but all the subsequent times I’ve donated it has been a piece of cake.
Most importantly, every dollar matters. If you’re thinking about donating and are intimidated by the process, ask someone for help. There are plenty of people available to help you through the process, whether it’s someone at the school you’re donating to or the Empower Illinois Donor Helpline. Once you donate and see the impact, you will continue to give. I can’t say enough about this program. I should have done it sooner.