Melanie Drews

Melanie Drews

Melanie Drews is a kindergarten teacher at Bethel Lutheran School in Morton, Illinois, whose daughter is attending high school with help from an Invest in Kids scholarship. Drews said the scholarship has been a blessing but worries state lawmakers will let it end, threatening her daughter’s ability to remain in the only school system she’s known.

“There are a lot of kids that thrive because they’re helped out by these scholarships. Like for our family, my husband went through cancer twice and so it affects what jobs he can or can’t do. He’s not always able to work full time.”

“I’m a teacher at Bethel and I have three children. My oldest is a freshman in college this year. She attended Bethel through eighth grade and then a couple years ago, Bethel started a high school.”

“It wasn’t available for my oldest, so she went to our local high school. But last year, my middle child graduated eighth grade at Bethel and she was wavering back and forth whether she wanted to go to the public high school, where my oldest went, or continue on at Bethel.”

“She came to me and said she felt that the Lord was leading her to continue on at Bethel. But because of our finances, we were not quite sure how we were going to be able to afford the tuition with one child already in college.”

“Our principal told me about [Invest in Kids scholarships], so we applied and qualified. That enabled us to be able to send her to the high school at Bethel. It was a very big blessing for our family.”

“If the program sunsets, it would probably mean that she wouldn’t be able to continue on at Bethel. She would have to transfer over to the public high school unless we were able to find some other avenues to help fund the tuition.”

“It would also change her learning process and her environment. She’s been in Lutheran schools for her whole life, and she has always been in smaller classrooms. She just seems to learn better in that situation, being able to work one-on-one with teachers. She’s able to get the help she needs and just seems to thrive learning that way.”

“There are a lot of great public schools out there but there are many families that don’t get the educational opportunities that they would like for their child. They miss out on these things just because of where they live or their financial situations.”

“The scholarship is really important and it is a blessing to so many children in so many families. It really does change peoples’ lives for the better.”

Melanie Drews
Kindergarten teacher, mother of three
Morton, Illinois

Want more? Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you, we'll keep you informed!
Keep scrolling for more inspiring stories

Have a story to share?

Tell us how a state or local policy affects your life.
If we decide to feature your story, one of our writers will reach out to you directly.