Posted: December 14, 2018
When I take a few moments to look back on 2018 at APESF, these reflections always bring lots of happy moments to mind. For me, the joy of holding my new granddaughter was a highlight! But it’s not lost on me that for any of us, there are always those few profound but painful things we have experienced.
A year in the life of APESF provides that same mix of happy moments and painful times. We have the opportunity to provide scholarships to students in private schools, and for many of the families we serve, private education would be just a dream without the tax credit program. We love being a part of making this choice possible. We review thousands of scholarship applications every year, and 2018 was no exception. In these applications, we are thrilled to read of successes and what the program has meant to families and students. But, many times, these applications also include the tough parts of life. It’s a honor and privilege to review the stories, and it’s one of the many reasons why being a part of the APESF team and having the resources to financially support these families is so rewarding.
As 2018 comes to a close, a few families stand out to me and speak to why I love entering the doors of APESF every day. Shortly before the 2017-18 school year came to a close, one of our team members received a call from a dad who was upset that he had overlooked submitting his family’s application. He wasn’t begging us to make allowances for the fact that he had forgotten, but through the conversation, he did share that he had just made the heart-breaking decision to contact hospice to provide end of life care for his wife, who was battling cancer. The young parents had three children in private school. The least we could do was assist the family with not only the application process but also financial assistance as the school year came to a close. Mom passed on shortly after, and Dad was so thankful for what APESF was able to do for his children. We were grateful that we had the opportunity to support this family during this difficult time.
Another family that comes to mind moved to the Valley from a small town in Arizona so that their son could benefit from a specialized school that provides services to students who have difficulties learning in a traditional school setting. These hardworking parents sacrificed everything that represented home in an attempt to provide what every child deserves – a learning environment that meets the child where he or she is. This child is now thriving! How humbling it is to walk alongside this family and many others who struggle to find the “right fit” for each of their children.
It is these examples and many others that excite us about what we have to look forward to in 2019 as APESF continues its mission to serve Arizona families in their desire to provide the learning environments that align with each child’s uniqueness. With the continued support of individual taxpayers and Arizona corporations, APESF and other school tuition organizations will have the funding required to come alongside our families. The children of today are our leaders of tomorrow.