“Our middle son had a lot of problems in public school with a bully, and we couldn’t find a solution.”
“He was a very small kid and a very skinny kid. All the other kids were a lot bigger than him. He looked different, he had darker skin. And he was quiet. So everyone bullied him because he was the small kid, because he was ‘this’ or ‘that,’ because he was ‘stupid.’ But really he was just different.”
“And when I went to talk to the teachers, they said, ‘Oh, we’ll handle the situation. He just has to learn that that’s how the other kids are.’ And we went to look for help with the administration until they said, ‘Well, ma’am, if you don’t like it, simply put him in a private school.’”
“And that’s what we did. It was the best advice.”
“We knew about St. Jude because we came for Mass. Our son saw the kids coming out of the school and said, ‘When I am going to be there?’ But we couldn’t do it.”
“When we [finally] brought him to St. Jude, he had become a quiet kid, timid because of what he was going through in school with the bully. He was scared to even talk because he knew that something would happen.”
“But when he realized that he could feel at home here, nothing would happen to him, he could be himself and they helped him find his talents and advance, it was easy for him to return to being that extroverted kid.”
“To arrive at a place where teachers help him to advance, where he can explore his talents, feel welcome and sheltered, it’s life changing for a child.”
“We are a very close family with many Mexican traditions. We came here 35 years ago, from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Our values and principles are very important to us. Our faith is very important to us. We were looking for somewhere we could have all of that in one place, and St. Jude has been that.”
“When out little girl was born, it was a dream for her to come here. She started here in pre-K. And everything was going very well. One way or another we made it work.”
“When our daughter was in third grade, we realized we couldn’t afford it.”
“Only my husband works. He has a small rug business, and we are a family of five. We couldn’t afford college for the oldest, the bills, sickness. There were a lot of circumstances in our family, and we decided that the little one wouldn’t return for fourth grade to private school.”
“When I came to the office to tell them that my daughter wouldn’t attend here anymore, they told me about Empower Illinois. It felt unreal that we could receive help. We’ve never asked for help. We’ve never needed it.”
“Our daughter was able to stay in school thanks to the Invest in Kids scholarships, and now she’s in sixth grade.”
“You see her joy coming from school. She’s never been scared like her brother was due to his time at public school.”
“It’s marvelous and when we think, as Latinos, the doors are closed for us, there are no more opportunities. When we knock on the door, someone comes out and says, ‘Yes, you can do it. There’s help.’ And well in my case, it has been this, Empower Illinois.”
“I hope that many Latinos come forward and ask a Catholic school, ‘What opportunities are there?’ And when they ask me, ‘Gosh, how do you do it?’ I respond, ‘Ask! Ask the school closest to your home. Go and ask.’ Don’t give in to the doubt and later say, ‘How I would have loved to give that opportunity to my children.’”
“Don’t miss out on the opportunity to send your kids to a good school, simply because you didn’t ask.”
“I no longer have that worry of, ‘How will I send her back to school if there’s no money?’ Or that we would have to make tough decisions, pay school or not pay something else. Yet, thankfully, my daughter has been able to continue her education and she has very good grades.”
“To know that my daughter comes to a school where she’s taken care of, treated the same way I would treat her at home: Wow! There are no words to describe that feeling. She has to continue at this school.”
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