Melissa and Jeremy of Iowa
Melissa and Jeremy, young parents from Iowa, are grateful for the financial support that receive in the form of a tuition grant to send Jeremy’ssister Kim to an area private school.
In March of 2005, Melissa and Jeremy, a young married couple working on their careers, decided to invite Jeremy's sister, Kim, to live with them. Kim, then only 15, had been living in another state when her life began to spin out of control. She had dropped out of school, engaged in dangerous behavior, and was even suicidal. Kim had spent most of her education in a special needs classroom at a public school, and she had been told that she was just “not smart enough.” She came to Melissa and Jeremy with little self-esteem and a debilitating fear of going back to school.
Kim's fear was so advanced that it became difficult to get her to leave her bedroom, so Melissa and Jeremy decided to have her tested at a local learning center. They were surprised by the results. It turned out that Kim did not have any learning disability; she had just never been properly taught. Melissa and Jeremy interviewed at several schools, both public and private, to find one that could meet Kim's needs. Eventually they decided that Pella Christian High School was their best option, but they knew they would not be able to afford the tuition.
The school, however, informed the couple about the state’s School Tuition Organization (STO) program. Melissa and Jeremy applied for a tuition grant through a process they found to be simple and easy, and the family was awarded a tuition grant from the Legacy of Grace School Tuition Organization.
Soon Kim was enrolled at Pella, and she showed quick progress. Thanks to one-one-one attention, Kim improved academically, flourished on the cheerleading squad, and discovered a love of graphic design. Caring teachers and coaches took extra time and care to help her reach her potential. Kim graduated from Pella in the spring of 2009 and plans to study graphic design at a local community college.
Melissa and Jeremy are grateful for the STO tuition grant that made this educational opportunity possible. They believe that Kim would not have been able to make this progress at any other school. They support school choice and hope that many other children will have the opportunity to change their lives the way Kim did.