On Wednesday, the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation (TTEF) announced its first round of Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (MOScholars) awards, becoming the first MOScholars Educational Assistance Organization in Missouri to award scholarships under the new MOScholars program.
“This is a great day for Missouri and students in the St. Louis region. I am grateful to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation for their hard work to fund these scholarships and serve the children and families in their region who are seeking alternative education options,” said Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick. “I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure Missouri children and families are able to access education that meets their needs.”
This initial group of MOScholars Empowerment Scholarship Accounts have been awarded by TTEF to 24 scholars, including 15 students whose academic needs are being addressed through Individualized Education Programs (IEP). The scholarship awardees will enter grades K-12 this fall at 21 schools across the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County.
Many parents said the scholarship program would be life-changing, giving their children opportunities they would have struggled to afford otherwise.
Parent Kenyana S., whose son Cameron will use the scholarship to attend River Roads Lutheran School this fall, said the scholarship would change the lives of everyone in her family.
“I am a single mother of three and this takes a huge burden off of me,” she said. “I will be able to spend more time and money on other things for my children.”
Kristen E. said the scholarship allows her son Dylan to return to school after two years of homeschooling.
“When we saw this it was like, wow, we can go back to school and afford it,” she said, noting that having her son in a small private school was necessary for his future. “Now he will be able to continue his education through high school and get proper job training for when he graduates. It is really an answered prayer and it means so much to me and my family.”
Minnette B. said the scholarship would help her stop living paycheck-to-paycheck while ensuring that her daughter Alivia would be able to finish her senior year at Miriam School and Learning Center.
“This will help with college next year as well because we can try to save a little bit to help with that,” said Minnette.
Michelle N., who is sending her son Marvin to St. Mary’s High School this fall after aging out of a charter school, said she was not sure how she would have paid for tuition before getting the scholarship.
“I applied for financial aid but did not get any, which put me in a worry spot,” she said. “Now I have been able to pay for half of what is going to be required for high school which is a tremendous blessing. I am a single parent with considerable village support but I was worried if I was going to be able to do it every year so this will help me greatly.”
Parents also agreed that having private schools as an option would greatly benefit their children.
“I wanted to make sure my son had a sound foundation for education as well as the opportunity for sports,” said Michelle. “I was not confident we would have those two things together at a public high school. This will definitely change his future.”
Student John Paul, who is receiving a scholarship to attend 10th grade at Academy of St. Louis, summed up the feeling of the families who were awarded the first round of scholarships.
“The MOScholars program is great,” he said. “Thank you for allowing me to come and have fun. I am grateful for that.”
MOScholars ESA scholarships are privately funded by individual and corporate tax credit contributions to non-profit scholarship organizations like Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation. These tax-credit donations provide scholarships for students with special needs and low-income students.
“The diversity of students and schools served by these scholarships is evidence that MOScholars perfectly aligns with the mission and vision of the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation,” said TTEF Executive Director Julie Soffner. “Though we are deeply rooted in Catholic ideals, our overarching goal is to help children of all backgrounds achieve their potential through access to quality educational options.”
The first cohort of 24 TTEF MOScholars will attend the following schools:
· Academy of St. Louis – Special Education (Manchester)
· Annunziata School – Special Education (Ladue)
· Christ Community Lutheran School Bethlehem Campus (St. Louis)
· Good Shepherd Catholic School (Hillsboro)
· Holy Child Catholic School (Arnold)
· Holy Spirit Catholic School (Maryland Heights)
· Lutheran South High School (Affton)
· Miriam School and Learning Center (Webster Groves)
· Notre Dame High School (Lemay)
· Our Lady of Guadalupe School (Florissant)
· River Roads Lutheran School (St. Louis)
· Rosati-Kain High School (St. Louis)
· South City Catholic Academy (St. Louis)
· St. Ambrose Catholic School (St. Louis)
· St. Ann Catholic School (Normandy)
· St. Cletus School (St. Charles)
· St. John Vianney High School (Kirkwood)
· St. Mark Catholic School (Lemay)
· St. Mary’s High School (St. Louis)
· St. Paul Catholic School (Fenton)
· St. Roch School (St. Louis)
For more information about the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation and the organization’s role in the MOScholars program, visit https://ttef-stl.org/moscholars or contact TTEF Executive Director Julie Scott Soffner at email@example.com or 314.792.7621.
For more information about the MOScholars program please visit www.showmeschooloptions.org.
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