When Thomas Benards added two foster children to his family he did not know that providing them with a quality education would be a major problem, but he soon found out that his local school district was not prepared or willing to provide his foster daughters with the support they needed.
“Pretty much they had not gone to school at all before we got them,” he said. “We tied to put them in a public school. The school board and the system were not going to help them out. They were not able to get the individual attention they needed. They were thrown into a class and just told to swim.”
So Thomas’s family started looking for options and quickly discovered Outreach Christian Education (OCE) , a small private school in Kansas City.
“Instantaneously we were like, this is the best place for them,” he said, adding that while the school was a great fit, its location (an hour from their home) was not. “The only way we could do this school for this year was through a scholarship.
Thankfully, OCE told Thomas about the new MOScholars program and he immediately applied for scholarships for both of his foster daughters and his son.
“We were able to get my son the scholarship but we were not able to get the girls the scholarship,” Thomas said. “The school decided to do a fundraiser for them and was able to get them funded to also go. Now they have a chance to succeed which before they did not.”
Thomas said OCE’s unique format and structure allow his foster daughters to get individualized attention and support that just was not possible in a public school setting.
“They are able to learn and grow at a much more expedited pace than they would have any other way,” he said. “There are not enough words to be able to explain the gratefulness that I have that my kids were able to go to this school.
“I am willing to make the sacrifice to drive two hours a day to get them here, but we just could not have done that if we were having to pay for it at the same time,” he added, pointing out how important it was that people help to fund the MOScholars program.
“You have no idea how much you could actually impact somebody’s life with an education,” he said. “If you have the ability to help other people get their kids the correct education you are going to be not only transforming the parents’ lives, but you’re gonna be changing generations from that point on. Now they’re gonna be able to have the education that they’re gonna need and they’re gonna be able to give it and provide better educations for their kids and then their kids. So you’re gonna be changing more people’s lives than you could possibly ever imagine.”