Arete Scholars Fund Inc.

11/29/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2023 21:19

One Scholarship Can Impact an Entire Family

When Danielle, a single mother of three, was looking to enroll her son, Bryen, in kindergarten, she knew a private school was the type of educational environment she most wanted for him. Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic School was her top choice, and with good reason. It came highly recommended by family and friends whose children had previously attended.

"Both my nephews attended Resurrection, and they loved it," Danielle said. "When they talk about it, they make it sound like it was one of the best times of their lives. They talk about it more than they do their high school."

Researching schools around her, Danielle knew that a local public school was not an option. The quality of educational instruction did not align with what she knew her son needed to develop knowledge and thrive both academically and socially.

Bryen in class at Resurrection of Our Lady Catholic School

Danielle had heard plenty of terrific things about the Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic School, a co-educational parochial school located in the heart of the Read Boulevard West neighborhood of New Orleans. The school's educational philosophy is straightforward-they exist to serve the total welfare of their students. Resurrection accepts and develops children as individuals, nurtures their God-given talents, cultivates their desire for knowledge, and prepares them to meet life's challenges. Plus, it's in a great neighborhood close to her home. Everything about the school made sense. But, there was one problem-the private school tuition seemed like an impossible financial burden to take on, especially during a difficult season of life for the family.

"I feel like I'm being stretched across the board trying to get everything done for everybody," she shared.

Fortunately, while speaking to a school administrator during the admissions process, Danielle was introduced to Arete Scholars. After going home to research eligibility requirements, she applied for tuition assistance through Arete's scholarship program. She was thrilled when she eventually received word that Bryen's scholarship application was approved.

"I was in tears," Danielle said. "I was so excited for the opportunities he would now have."

"I'm very thankful that we were able to receive a scholarship," she added. "If it wasn't for this financial assistance, I don't know how Bryen could attend Resurrection. I would likely have had to send him to a public school, but that would have been a last resort for us."

A last resort that, for a time, appeared to be the most likely possibility if assistance didn't come. But the help Danielle desperately needed did come in the form of a partial tuition scholarship from Arete. She received the tuition assistance necessary to realize her prayer for Bryen-enrolling him in a quality, private Catholic school in her neighborhood-a school where she knew he would give him every opportunity for future success.

"Arete is helping my family a lot," she said.

It's help that could not come at a better time, especially given the needs of her oldest son, Brycen, who has autism and attends a school that caters to his specific social and emotional needs. He also requires consistent speech and occupational therapy sessions, which are not covered by insurance. In addition to paying for daycare for her youngest daughter, Mariah, Brycen's therapy sessions posed a financial burden that would have made it all but impossible for Danielle to send Bryen to the school she knew was best for him and that she felt would best prepare him to reach his greatest, God-given potential.

And what about all the high praises about Resurrection from family and friends; are they true?

"Absolutely," Danielle said.

It's all ringing true for Bryen, who is thriving in his first year at Resurrection. Danielle said he loves everything about his new school, even his lunch! By the second week, he had blossomed at what he calls "big kids school." He enjoys his teachers and has been acing every weekly report. He loves to learn, and he even loves doing homework! The environment at Resurrection has been perfect for Bryen, and his teachers do a great job generating so much excitement for him around learning.

"From day one, he's just been happy," Danielle said. "When it's your child, you genuinely know whether they are happy or not. When I ask if he likes his school, he always says 'Yes!' He's even disappointed that he can't go to school on the weekends; that's how much he loves it. Good things are going to come from him attending Resurrection."

Bryen's story is just one of the reasons Arete Scholars exists-to open the door to educational opportunities where none existed before. The students and the families we serve often lack the means to provide that opportunity for themselves. They need someone to believe in their potential-to believe that in them is something greater than the constraints of their circumstances.

Danielle knows her son has so much to give to this world. It begins with an opportunity-access to a quality, private school education that fosters deep learning; a safe environment that encourages healthy social development and spiritual maturity; and the support and belief of others that enables a potential that is not simply recognized but ultimately realized.

Danielle's message to Arete's supporters: Keep it up.

"They might not know who they are impacting," she said, "But they are helping people who need it. And I know I need it."

Danielle is incredibly thankful for Arete, noting that Bryen's scholarship has impacted not just him but the entire family.

"This scholarship means I don't have to limit opportunities for Brycen by taking him out of one of his therapies, which could hurt his development," she said. "As a mom, you never want to be in a position to take something away from one child to make something happen for another."

"But the scholarship helped even things out for me," she said. "Even though life is financially tight right now, it's manageable. Arete has helped make life more manageable."

The future is big for Bryen and his siblings. As Danielle sees it, the sky's the limit. And thanks to Arete's supporters, underserved and marginalized students have options. They no longer have to remain constrained by the limits of financial hardship, low-performing schools, or other circumstances beyond their control. When parents are empowered to place kids like Bryen in private schools that best suit their unique gifts and learning needs, the sky truly is the limit.