Empowered Parent Stories
Gloria Rojas was one parent searching for the right school for her daughter.
“I want a school that is going to dedicate a lot to the future of children,” she said. It’s a sentiment that can be shared by many of the parents searching for the best-fit school for their kids.
For her daughters Natalie and Amily, having the ability to send them to the schools of her choice was imperative.
“It’s important for parents to have school choice because we can take our kids to any school we want,” Rojas said. “Being able to pick a choice is important.”
Her eldest, Natalie, is a KIPP Houston alumnae. Natalie wanted her daughter to access the same high-quality education Natalie received from her KIPP school, so she began submitting applications public charter schools for Amily when she was just a year old.
“I knew all the parents and kids at KIPP,” Rojas said. “Natalie used to tell me, ‘Mom, at the other school I was just another number. But at KIPP I felt like I was a part of a family.’”
Gloria knew that families can spend years on the waitlist. Her journey became more complicated after moving to Humble, Texas, a suburb of Houston where her options would be extremely limited.
In the first year Amily spent on the waitlist, the family was contacted by Families Empowered. She was given resources and information which empowered her to engage in the school marketplace.
Families Empowered recommends parents apply to three or more schools in order to increase the likelihood of finding a seat in a school of their choice. Gloria applied to KIPP Houston, Harmony Public Schools and the School of Science and Technology.
Gloria explained, “I’m so thankful to God that Families Empowered was put on my back because I didn’t know who to speak to. They kept emailing me and keeping me posted about events, and even invited me to the School Connection Fair.”
With her experience navigating the school marketplace for two children, Glora has become involved in the community as a parent advocate. She has attended multiple Families Empowered events including Application Days, attended press conferences and made her voice heard at the Texas School Choice Rally in Austin. Gloria raises her voice to speak for all single mothers who going through the same journey she did.
“I know there’s a lot of moms like me who are struggling and have problems with their child’s school,” Gloria explained. “They just don’t know that Families Empowered is out there to help us.”
Still, Gloria is optimistic about the future. “These are the children of tomorrow,” she said.