Dominque Hagans

School choice is an amazing opportunity for parents. Choice gives families the option of sending their child to the private school of their choosing or to a regular public school. It allows many the opportunity of living out their dreams.

My dad, for instance, had always wanted to send all three of his children to private schools. He wanted to have my brother attend St. Augustine High School and my sister and I attend St. Mary’s Academy. Unfortunately, his dreams were held at a stand-still due to his financial situation. He refused to surrender, though.

One evening, my dad’s best friend came over for a Saints game. He introduced my dad to the LA school choice program and suggested that he take the chance and apply. My dad was certainly pleased with the results. He’d managed to get one of his children, me, into St. Mary’s Academy, a private institution. I can recall receiving my acceptance letter in the mail and seeing the old man jump for joy, his eyes glinting with delight.

I formed bonds that I’m not sure I would have made had I gone somewhere else.”

I’ve been attending St. Mary’s since sixth grade. Initially, I was afraid when my journey began. I was aware of the high reputation of the school. I wasn’t sure that I’d make a great fit. However, with time and through trial and error, I came to find myself.

I formed bonds that I’m not sure I would have made had I gone somewhere else. My teachers, being very generous, did whatever they could to help me reach my goals. My counselors reached out to me and guided me to the best of their abilities. They never failed to inform me of opportunities available to me. I dabbled in many clubs and extracurricular activities which have helped me recognize my strengths and interests.

My school offers a very familial atmosphere. The people here truly care for me, and they motivate me rather than try to change or discourage me. It’s more academically rigorous than the public schools in our neighborhood. However, while it is competitive, we encourage each other too.

I believe every family should have the opportunity to send their child to a school of their choice. Some families don’t get the chance due to monetary situations. In that sense, it isn’t fair, but it is also how life is. It is also why I’m so grateful for the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which graciously gives people like me a fighting chance.