Symara Moses’ daughter, Cortney, attends The Chicago Academy for the Arts thanks to a scholarship for low-income families through Illinois’ Invest in Kids program. While Cortney dreams of pursuing a career in the performing arts, Moses said the dream depends on convincing state lawmakers to save the scholarship program during their fall veto session.
“Cortney has had the amazing opportunity to attend The Chicago Academy for the Arts, which is the No. 1 performing arts school in Illinois. She’s always been a creative kid. We really noticed around the age of eight or nine, when she started gravitating toward the creative side of things.”
“My daughter is a sophomore now at CAA and is living her best life, enjoying her expanded high school experience. We’re just so grateful that she’s been able to receive a significant amount of aid through Empower Illinois in order to attend the school.”
“She simply would not have been able to attend this school without the scholarship since the tuition costs over $31,000 a year. My husband and I are a middle-class, working family, and we also have a senior at a private school that we pay tuition for, so the finances just wouldn’t have added up to be able to support her without the help. She receives an 85% scholarship.”
“If the scholarship sunsets this year, she would not be able to return to the academy. We just would not be able to cover that amount of tuition and she would have to switch schools.”
“The biggest thing that I would say as a parent and also a donor to the tax scholarship programs is that these kinds of programs are imperative for our children. They provide access and the opportunity to attend top schools that otherwise – outside of grades, talent and merit – students wouldn’t be able to attend financially.”
“This scholarship has been a game-changer for our family. CAA provides an amazing community and these kinds of specialty schools just open kids up to all sorts of possibilities and the resources to be amazing, productive contributors to our world.”
“Since joining CAA, it has been an absolute 180-degree turn just from what she’s been exposed to and her confidence and level of thinking. Not to say that our public schools don’t do a good job, but when you’re able to attend a school that meets your skill level and your interest level and really expands what you already have inside of you, it makes that child more confident and comfortable.”
“Some of these schools just can’t meet the needs of kids that have certain skills and passions, and with our child being a creative in the performing arts, she has to be around that environment where others speak that same language and have those same quirks.”
“CAA is a place where the teachers understand the importance of the arts and can really pull out the natural skills that the students have and make them well-rounded in academics. It empowers the children to strive academically as well as to not dim their light in their arts interests.”
“We struggled with public schools; the curriculums and most schools not having the resources that the arts can bring to children. Her being able to attend the academy has been life changing and I see her growth every single week. Something new that she’s learning, something that she’s picking up from faculty, staff, other students and just her confidence.”
“I think back to my elementary school years, the things that I enjoyed and the structure of school at that time. I think if I had the opportunity to attend a school that met my needs as a young kid, a place that encouraged me to dream big and want big things in life, I would have been able to do even greater things in life.”
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