When we moved to Birmingham from Talladega County in 1993, my son attended a Birmingham public school where he was bullied. Because I could not afford to move or to send him to a private school, he had to continuously endure the bullying. As a result, he dropped out of school in the 12th grade, and, because he didn’t have a high school diploma, he struggled to find a job.
A few years later, I got custody of my grandson and granddaughter. My grandson also attended a Birmingham public school and he was bullied just as my son was years earlier. I decided to move from my home, which I was purchasing, to an apartment in Homewood so my grandchildren could attend school in a better environment.
After becoming disabled in 2012, I had to move back to the neighborhood I left. Someone told me about the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund and thank God they did. I applied and my granddaughter was accepted into the program to attend Central Park Christian School.
For the past five years, she’s been thriving in a school where she is encouraged to get the best education possible. The scholarship has made it possible for my granddaughter to receive an education that will allow her to soar into the future.
My granddaughter is only one of many students who rely on this scholarship to open doors to better educational opportunities that will lead them to a better future.
I encourage every legislator and supporter of this program to continue to stay behind the scholarship program so our children can get a quality education. We are educating our next governor, mayor, senator, lawyer, doctor, nurse, police officer, educator and even president. So let’s give them the best foundation we can. Their future depends on it!
Shirley D. Garrett