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This has been our second year getting the scholarship. Years ago, my daughter had been going to a Catholic school for preschool, but I could only afford to keep her there for three half days during the week, on my own. I work as a cashier at Jewel Osco, and people were telling me to apply for these scholarships.

We changed schools to Pope Francis Global Academy for her to try to receive a tax credit scholarship. It was sort of last minute; we didn’t think we were going to get anything. I was so grateful when the news came. I didn’t know if I could go through another year of working part time and balancing all of it.

I cried when we found out. It was such a relief. It’s hard because I am relying on other people and their generosity to make ends meet. I can’t wait to be a donor to this program. I need to return the favor because Invest in Kids has made such a huge difference in our lives.

It was hard for us to move schools, but my daughter has been doing so well, she’s such a trooper. She has made friends easily and says she wants to stay where she is now. She’s doing great in school – 99th percentile in her reading scores – I’m very happy with how she’s been growing and learning.

She stresses out because she can hear me discuss the scholarships with family and whether we’ve heard anything back yet. She doesn’t say anything, but she would just tell me, “Mom, I like my school and I want to stay there.”

Right now, I’m in the process of hopefully getting another job. I’ve been trying since my mom retired and is able to help me. I’m hoping to hear back if I get to work two jobs.

If I had not received the scholarships these last few years, she would have been in a public school. It’s just not possible for me to afford her current school otherwise.

I have to do whatever I can because she wants to stay at the school. And after you see how things played out during the pandemic, we know this is where we need to be. We’ve been in-school and we’ve been thriving. Our school has had it together.

My child is happy, she’s doing so well in school academically, she has respect for others, and it just makes me so happy that she’s excelling.

She went back to school in-person in August. She was excited, but also a little bit nervous. But as soon as she saw her friends she could barely turn around and say goodbye, she went running. When I picked her up after the first day back, I asked what was the best and she said, “Everything!” She said it was nice to see all her friends again, that she was tired of being on the computer. It was such a joy.

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