Meet Paloma, a second grader at St. Peter’s School. Paloma loves doing cartwheels, visiting her grandmother, and dreams of becoming a veterinarian.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: Ride horses, do cartwheels, watch brain games, go to abuela’s (grandmother’s) house, have play dates with my friends, hang out with my cousin, learn to play the piano and knit.
Q: What is your favorite subject at school? Why? What do you like most about it?
A: My favorite subject is sports because it is fun. And my favorite thing about it is winning.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your school?
A: My favorite thing about school is everything!!
Q: Who is your role model and why do you look up to them?
A: I look up to Nana because she takes care of horses and I love horses!!!
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Monica (Paloma’s mother)
Q: What are your hopes for your child?
A: My educational goal for my child is a development of curiosity and a love of learning. I believe that is what gives us a sense of happiness and gratification since you never outgrow learning or run out of things to discover. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I would love for my child to go to a prestigious university and eventually do something that will allow her to reap financial benefits but that is not my ultimate goal for her. Fulfillment is my goal. I want her to think that that learning is exciting, fun, challenging and rewarding and I think that fostering that at a young age builds that foundation.
Q: Why do you think it is important for your child to attend a tuition-based school in Philadelphia?
A: Unfortunately, the neighborhood that we live in does not offer many choices in the way of forward-thinking schools. In my opinion, Philadelphia itself does not have a lot of great choices for lower school education unless you live in certain areas. There are wonderful preschool establishments, some good high schools, and obviously wonderful universities but the city falls short on great elementary schools. St. Peter’s has many aspects that I respect, such as studying and celebrating different world religions. Even though I am not a religious person, I find it disturbing that public schools do not even cover world religions, a topic that has shaped history, in class. The only way to fight ignorance is knowledge. Learning about global matters at a young age is a great way to inspire tolerance in our children, which I believe will help make for a brighter tomorrow.
Q: How did you feel when you were notified that you won the CSFP lottery?
A: Exactly like that! Like I had won the lottery! What can I say? I was ecstatic, relieved, honored, grateful, overjoyed and completely overwhelmed.
Q: How does your scholarship from Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia affect your family?
A: It gives our family some breathing room … Paloma’s education is at the top of my priority list but so is putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our heads. Being a single mom is hard enough–financial burdens infiltrate everything and can be a real strain on family life. CSFP has alleviated this stress significantly. It is still a challenge to make ends meet but it’s a great feeling knowing you have someone in your comer.
Q: What would you tell others about Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia?
A: Awesome and user friendly! I feel that this organization exists to help. Some families fall through the cracks and CSFP is unique because it helps people that want to help themselves and want to have a real choice and say in their children’s education.