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I am a single mom of two children. When I divorced in 2018, I had no income and a high school education, but I knew that I needed to set a positive example for my children.

I enrolled at the College of DuPage, earning an associate’s degree in Applied Science in 2020, and was inducted into Lambda Epsilon Chi, the National Paralegal Honor Society. I then transferred to Elmhurst University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies in 2022. At Elmhurst, I made the Dean’s List and was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society for Social Sciences. I am now a paralegal in DuPage County.

In 2020,  my son received a tax credit scholarship from Empower Illinois to attend Montini Catholic High School as a freshman. The scholarship gave my son educational and social opportunities that are not available at our local public school. Montini has an educational setting that emphasizes a message of service, faith, family, and community. These values are particularly important to my children and me. While at Montini, my son has had life changing experiences, such as participating in Habitat for Humanity, which he very much enjoyed.

Additionally, the teachers at Montini taught my son the value of a good education. Every teacher is passionate about their job and truly cares for their students. Montini has offered a safe, family-like learning environment while stressing the importance of personal responsibility and ethics. I have also noticed that the male teachers at Montini have also been wonderful role models for my son. My son will now be entering his senior year this coming fall at Montini and is currently looking into colleges to attend. I am hopeful that through my example of hard work, along with a great education and their faith, my children will not struggle the way I have.

My children are not the only ones who have and can benefit from the continuation of the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Families living off one income and those living below or near the poverty line will continue to be left behind and disenfranchised by the discontinuation of this scholarship opportunity. There is no reason that children in need should not be given the same opportunities as those who can afford tuition. My children, and those like them, are the ones that need this help the most. They want to work hard and change their circumstances, and should be supported, encouraged, and given an opportunity to succeed in school and beyond.

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