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My husband and I live just outside Chicago with our two children. My son is a sophomore at Fenwick High School and my daughter is finishing up eighth grade at a local public school. She just received a tax credit scholarship to attend Chicago Academy of the Arts next year and we are so excited!

She has been interested in the arts since she was little. She started playing piano at three years old and has been professionally acting since she was nine. She has been in a few commercials and some local independent films, as well as a few other projects, including a promo for Black Girls Rock with Taraji P. Henson. She also has a strong interest in theatre acting, which she will be able to cultivate at CAA. It was such a relief to know my child will be able to attend her first-choice school and I won’t have to cover everything. The staff at CAA has really embraced us like family, too. We know she will be in her element among other artistically inclined students. It can be tough when your child isn’t into the typical activities, like sports, and we even homeschooled her for a few years because of that. Our children deserve to go to a school that will allow them to thrive.

This is our fourth time applying and first time receiving a tax credit scholarship, and we are so excited. My son has received other aid throughout his time at Fenwick, which has helped us a lot. When he was first accepted, we knew we would have to pay some of the tuition, so we saved and did everything we could to make it work, including receiving some help from their grandparents. We are just going to make it work so they’re happy. And we’re glad we did because he is doing really well. He’s thinking about college and interested in possibly pursuing law, sports medicine, or business.

I am a business owner myself, and the pandemic really impacted us financially. I even donated to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program pre-pandemic, and now, to be on the other side of it and be the one in need, I’m just so thankful to the donors. And please keep giving. The arts especially really need to be supported, and all children should have access to schools outside of their neighborhoods. I am so eternally grateful for people who show they value education by contributing to this program, and every dollar helps our students.

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