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Featured Scholarship Student

Featured Scholarship Students

Each month, Parents for Choice in Education will highlight the personal story of a Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship student.  These are true stories that illustrate better than any statistics why empowering parents and increasing choice will improve K-12 education for every Utah child.

1st Place Kacey Ellis

Before I got this scholarship, I was failing classes and misbehaving.  This year 2009-2010 has a difficult economy, my mother and my father were both laid off and did not have jobs.  And for a while we didn't have money to support our household.

If I was not given this scholarship, I would be in public school.  And I would not have the best education I can get.  I've learned the past year or so that school and education are very important, that I need to know the education to live a normal life and not worry about the next pay check.

Without the Scholarship, my family could not afford for me to go here.  The Carson Smith Scholarship means a lot to me because it has helped me go to a place where I can get extra help in certain areas.  Going to this school has made me realize how important school is and how important gaining knowledge is to succeed in life.

The Scholarship makes me feel like someone has given me the opportunity to succeed in school and also a special gift where I can change my future and head the right way in life.  Since I've been here I feel happy.  I'm not failing any more.  I'm reading more often and feel like I finally got a breathe of fresh air.

2nd Place Micheal Grove

If I did not have the Carson Smith Scholarship I would not be at Layton Christian Academy.  This Scholarship helps my Mom and Dad to be able to afford to put me in a school that is much smaller.  I can get better help with my (ADHD, RAD, social and anger problems).

I like Layton Christian Academy because the teachers and staff care about make me be a better person and taking responsibility for my actions.  I also like that I have after school activities in sports.  It makes it fun to be there. (LCA)

I want to be someone that people like, respect, and be around.  I'd like to make a lot of money so I can pay back my parents who helped me be a better persons and like myself.  I would also like to help other kids that struggle like I do.

Michael Grove
Age 10

2nd Place Joshua Grover

Imagine trying to teach a bright child with whom you could barely communicate.  Imaging trying to teach a bright child who seemed to pay little attention to you.  Imagine the bright child was yours, and you watched teachers for years, without success.

Our son with autism has moved between public, private, charter, and home schools just about every year of his academic life...searching for someone who would be able to address his unique gifts and special needs.  The Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship gave us much needed freedom to explore educational options without bankrupting our family.  Moreover, private schools now have an incentive to give commensurate attention to those with special needs.  From our perspective, it's the best educational decision our state government has ever made.

3rd Place Jaclyn Tesch

Our 10th foster child was a 5lb little girl.  She came into care because of drug abuse while her birth mom was pregnant with her.  We adopted that darling little girl.  Her name is Jaci and she is a fun tender-hearted girl with a lot of love for everyone.  Jaclyn is 10 years old; she has been a Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship recipient for 1/2 of last school year and the entire 2009-10 school year.  What lead us to the Ogden Valley Montessori School and the Carson Smith Scholarship was when Jaclyn came home defeated from public school. She said "I am the dumbest person alive and everyone is smarter than me."  When her little sister in Kindergarten started sounding our words and Jaci could not, this was the last straw,  She had been struggling since first grade and now it seemed like she wanted to give up.

We were so worried about her and we wanted her to be happy and feel successful in her learning.  We looked into several different options and were very excited when we discovered the Montessori School, until we saw the price.  It was a great relief to find the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship.

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