Real Hoosiers, Real Stories

Indiana School Choice Story – Reyna

Reyna Rodriguez, a former school voucher recipient, shares her Indiana school choice story. Reyna, an alumna of Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne is one of four children in her family to use an Indiana Choice Scholarship to attend a private school.
A vocal advocate of Indiana School Choice, Reyna shared at a January 2017 National School Choice Week event in Fort Wayne how the quality education she received at Bishop Luers helped her grow and evolve as a student.

“Freshman year I came in as the “new girl” from a public school.
I thought I was ready for high school, but after my first big exam I realized I truly was behind academically.
So on top of trying to fit in, I had to catch up.
Without the support and assistance from all the teachers that believed in me, I would not be where I am today in my education.”

A few months later, Reyna completed her studies at Bishop Luers and she now attends Indiana University, Bloomington, where she is studying to become an optometrist. Even with the rigorous demands of her chosen field of study, Reyna continues to advocate for school choice options for Hoosier students.

Reyna shared her school choice story in this short video she recently made:

 


“There are no do-overs.”

My son has received a choice scholarship for four years. He went from a school that was not meeting my expectations to one where he is thriving, he is happy and he is successful. This has been

Nick and his mother, Karinya speaking with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos

possible because the money that is designed to educate him, followed him.

As parents we want what is best for our children. We recognize that we get one chance to “get it right.” There are no do overs. When our children are young their minds are like little sponges and they soak up all the knowledge and experiences that they are exposed to. We owe it to them to give them the best opportunities to put them on solid footing as they enter into adulthood. A quality education is vital in preparing them for lifelong success.

As parents, we know our children. we know their strengths and weaknesses and we know what makes them tick. For those who have more than one child, you know what works for one may not necessarily work for the other. What the Choice Scholarship does is open up options that allow parents to decide what is best for their children. They are not forced to have their children be educated in a one size fits all educational environment.

I cannot express how thankful I am for the Choice scholarship and the opportunity to make the best decision for my child’s education.


“I wanted a change.”

I came from a public school where I was getting bullied every day and put down. I became a very negative person and started hanging out with the wrong crowds. After my 7th and 8th grade years there, I decided I wasn’t going to go down the path many others have gone in high school. I wanted a change.
I saw what the high school was like at the public school and it was mostly just disgusting. The summer after my 8th grade year I told my mom I wanted to go to a private school. She and her husband were all for it. We waited awhile to see if we qualified for the vouchers program and when we found out that we did, that’s when my life changed. The school choice program gave me the opportunity to seek God in ways I wouldn’t have been able to elsewhere.


“All our kids are unique…”

By Courtney Williams, parent

My son attends a traditional public school and my daughter attends a public charter school. All our kids are unique in their own special ways. It is worth looking into other schools to see what best meets each kids’ needs.
My son’s school accepted him and said, “Your education is important. We are going to do whatever it takes to keep you in school.” They mentor kids to keep them on track.

My daughter had never attended this type of charter school. I chose it because they have a lot of different opportunities like drama, track, and basketball. My daughter loves the fact that there is a lot of diversity. I like it because of the diversity and the fact that they accept all children, no matter what level they are on as far as learning goes.


“School Choice has been a blessing to us.”

By Samantha Crook

I’m an adoptive mom of three and I was blessed to get to stay home with my children. Once they started heading to school, the anxiety hit hard. I realized they would be spending the best part of their days somewhere other than my home with someone other than me…and that was tough for me to process.

I needed to know they would be in a place where they would not only get a high quality education, but also be genuinely loved. The school we were able to choose meets both those criteria, they put a huge focus on faith, character development, and the values that are important to our family. There’s also a large community of adoptive families there and I treasure the fact that our kids will get to have that commonality with their peers throughout their educational experience. And I know they are in safe hands if they ever need to work through trials unique to them.

I have only been impressed with every single member of the school staff…each student is an individual and I love the attention they receive in their small class sizes. I get to drop my kids off at school and drive away with peace and joy each morning…a gift I thought was unattainable just a few short years ago. School Choice has been a blessing to us and I am so thankful we had the freedom to choose and find a school that fits the needs of our family.


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