Jennifer Lopez is a single mom who lives in Decatur, Illinois with her three children. In 2018, the first year of the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, Jennifer’s two oldest children were awarded full scholarships to attend Holy Family Catholic School, where they had previously received financial aid. In 2019, her third child was eligible for a tax credit scholarship, and all three of her children have been able to attend Holy Family tuition-free over the past two years.
“There is no way I would be able to afford to send my kids to Holy Family without these scholarships,” Jennifer says. “With this newfound financial freedom, I was able to go back to school and finish my Associate’s Degree. I’m currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree while working full time.”
Jennifer speaks incredibly highly of Holy Family’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the shutdown last March, Holy Family was able to quickly pivot to online learning, and Jennifer felt her kids were able to maintain learning standards during that time. “We have had teachers come to our house to drop off books, paperwork, whatever the kids might need. They have really gone above and beyond,” says Jennifer. In the fall, Holy Family offered families the option to safely attend classes in-person or continue classes remotely. “I really appreciated having the option, so families can do whatever makes them feel most comfortable. But my kids are very happy to be back in class with their friends and teachers. The public schools in our area just resumed in-person learning a few weeks ago, and I cannot imagine working, completing my own school work online, and helping my kids with remote learning for that many months.”
When asked about the Governor’s proposed cuts to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, Jennifer hopes legislators will vote to protect the program. “I do not know what we would do without these scholarships,” said Jennifer. “I fully support funding for public schools, but the way the system is right now, they would not offer the same resources and quality education for my kids. I hope legislators realize that this program is the only way that hard-working families like mine can send their children to their best-fit school. I’ll do whatever I can to help the program, and hope to become a donor myself once I am financially able.”