Tracy Smith

Tracy Smith

“I, myself am a product of Catholic school. I went to grammar school as well as high school. I love the education. I love the environment. And I love what it taught me. So, when I had my twin boys, Christopher and Alexander, I wanted them to go to a private school as well. They entered from kindergarten and they’ve continued in private education for their academic careers.”

“I work as a substitute teacher in the Chicago school system, and I see the differences in how things are taught. I disagreed when they took religion out of school. I love that my children are able to receive a faith-based education where they can continue to learn and grow the spirit of God.”

“St. Sabina was an avenue to teach them different skills that had been taken out of other schools. They learned how to play instruments. They learn how to tap dance. They have been exposed to art. They learned Boy Scouting and right now they’re first-class.”

“I experienced some financial difficulties about a few years back after my mom became sick. It was a whole new set of responsibilities to do things while she was ill and eventually passed. I am very thankful for the tax credit for the scholarship. It allowed me the opportunity to continue the environment my children have been thriving in all these years.”

“The tax credit scholarship allowed my children to continue their education, but it also allowed me the opportunity to continue to put what I could back into the system. So, I’ve also been an advocate just for the school in getting financial benefits for the school and scholarships for their students. I’ve been on the parent-teacher committee. I work wherever I can within the school system.”

“Both of my sons thrive in St. Sabina. They’ve never earned lower than a 3.8 GPA. One of my sons, Christopher, has asthma and if he gets a cold that will literally knock him out of school for a couple of weeks. In spite of that, he’s never lacked in homework. Alex would collect all his homework and notes and teach him the material in the evening so they could stay on track.”

“What’s taught at home is part of school and it’s facilitated to make sure that they’re balanced. When I substitute or tutor in charter schools or public schools, I witness the alternatives my sons would’ve experienced. And I don’t see the same type of benefits and the support system outside of a Catholic school education. This is what works best for my family and our values.”

“They have a before- and after-school care, which was very important for me while working and being able to make sure that they were in a safe environment until I got to work as well.”

“Some public schools force students to wait outside in the winter until 10 minutes before school starts. That’s a long time before they can come in the gate. What are the parents to do? I drive from where we live in Hyde Park to Gresham to ensure my kids are in a safe environment.”

“Then by the time I am picking them up from after-school, they’ve done their homework. And they’re participating in different mentoring groups. I love it because they continue to develop their character outside the classroom. And they both just received the Daniel Murphy Scholarship going into high school.”

“In the hard times, the tax credit scholarship was there to help make all this possible.”

Tracy Smith
Substitute teacher
Chicago, Illinois

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