My name is Rebekah, and I work for the American Federation for Children because I believe every child deserves the right to a good education. As a Catholic, I know how parochial schools meet countless children’s academic and spiritual needs.

This week, people around the country will come together for Catholic Schools Week – the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States.

Parents choose parochial education for many reasons. A quality education can help children learn in a fulfilling environment. It can help them reach their potential and go on to achieve great things.

This week, we’ll be celebrating some of those success stories. Thank you for standing with Catholic schools and the rights of all students to learn in a place that works for their unique needs.

All my best,

Rebekah Bydlak
American Federation for Children

My parents have always been supportive of my dreams and have done so much to ensure that I can make them come true. So when we heard about the chance at gaining a better education at Academy Prep Center of Tampa, my family did all that they could to ensure that this became possible. This amazing school set up my siblings and I on a truly successful path and continuously pushed us to be the best. With the amazing help of the Step Up For Students Scholarship, I was able to continue my education through the private schooling of Tampa Catholic High School.

This scholarship also allowed for my older and younger siblings to be put into private schools such as Jesuit High School, Academy of the Holy Names High School, and Tampa Catholic High School from Academy Prep. We continued this great track, which led us each getting into major universities such as University of South Florida, Florida State University, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

There is a lot to live up to with my older siblings being so successful in their lives, but I have been set up with the fundamental tools to reach my achievements. I have been accepted and plan on attending Florida State University and I know that because of Academy Prep and Step Up For Students, I was able to gain a better education and be as successful as I am today.  

Read Saliyha’s full story: