When Mark and Nicole Valenti married and blended their families together, eventually becoming a family of seven, they agreed that their children’s education would take a top priority. And, for a time, their finances allowed them to choose the learning environment that would help foster their children’s development. However, a significant loss of income, and the extra blow from a global pandemic, threw them off course. While they worked to pick up the pieces, scholarships from the AAA Scholarship Foundation helped to bridge a gap to ensure their children’s education was not interrupted.
With three children between them when they married, Mark and Nicole already knew the importance of ensuring their children had a solid educational foundation. So, when they had two children together – Dane and Vivianna – the Valentis wanted to make sure their youngest children were given the same start. Initially, Mark’s job enabled them to afford the tuition at a local private school and the children were thriving. However, Mark, who was the primary financial provider for the Valenti family, unexpectedly lost his job as a consultant, while an illness prevented Nicole from working more than part-time hours. Partial scholarships from the AAA Scholarship Foundation enabled them to keep the children at the school, but then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, further crippling the family’s finances.
Loans from family members helped the Valentis cover living expenses for the time being, but they were at a crossroads on how they would continue to afford their children’s school tuition. They feared further disrupting Dane and Vivianna’s lives by pulling them from not only a school they knew and loved, but also the resources that Vivianna was receiving due to her Individual Education Plan (IEP) for reading comprehension. Thankfully, they received continued scholarships from the AAA Scholarship Foundation during this time, eventually meeting the criteria for full AAA scholarships, making it possible for Dane and Vivianna to stay at their parent-selected school.
“Like many other families in the midst of this pandemic, we had an incredible amount of stress and pressure just to keep our family afloat financially,” says Nicole Valenti. “AAA Scholarships helped to alleviate our fears of having to take our children out of an environment where they were flourishing.”
The ability to attend a school of choice has enabled Vivianna and Dane to develop academically (they are both straight A students) and take full advantage of the educational resources and extracurricular activities available, such as speech and debate teams and art competitions, as well as giving back to their community through volunteer work. Although Covid-19 shutdowns suspended most sports activities they were involved in, both Dane and Vivianna previously excelled in sports as well, with Dane playing competitive soccer on a club-level team and Vivianna previously winning title of female athlete of the year and serving as the only female on the flag football team.
This school year, Vivianna, now in 6th grade, and Dane, now in 7th grade, have continued on to Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School in Las Vegas, where they both continue to grow academically and build upon their skills for the future. Vivianna has served as a school ambassador and loves English and writing thanks to the help she has received in the subject area. She talks about one day being a zoologist or dermatologist, but also has a creative side that leaves the door open for other career paths. Dane is involved in the broadcasting program at the school, inspiring him to possibly combine it with his love of sports and become a sports broadcaster one day. He also aspires to be a professional soccer player as well. With the solid foundation they are building, we are confident both children will accomplish any goals they set forth for themselves.
Nicole and Mark are incredibly thankful to those that make the scholarship program possible, providing assistance for families when they need it most. It is their hope that once they can recover financially and no longer need the scholarships that they can then pay it forward and help more children receive these same opportunities.
“To the donors and supporters of the AAA Scholarship Foundation – words cannot express the gratitude, as parents, that we feel towards your kindness,” says Mark Valenti. “We are forever grateful for your generosity. You should be proud of the help you are giving families such as ours and the opportunities you are giving to so many children through these scholarships.”
About AAA Scholarship Foundation
AAA Scholarship Foundation promotes the advancement of education by administering educational choice programs. The typical AAA Scholarship student is an ethnic minority living with a struggling single parent/caregiver in a high crime community. More than 80 percent of these children are initially awarded AAA scholarships while living in households with annual incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Many are either below grade level, failing at their previous school or both when they first receive a scholarship. Parents, who find their children in these circumstances and are concerned about their future, look for viable options. They seek an atmosphere that challenges their children and will reverse inadequate learning, social patterns and potential lifelong negative impacts. They wish to change their children’s learning environment, acquaintances and the unfortunate predictable outcomes associated with school failure.
AAA Scholarships are funded in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Nevada by companies that redirect a portion of their state tax liability to the AAA Scholarship Foundation in exchange for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. AAA Scholarship Foundation is one of the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit scholarship organizations approved to administer these legislatively-authorized tax credit scholarship programs in multiple states. AAA Scholarship Foundation provides your company with the convenience and efficiency of a single solution for participating in multiple state tax credit scholarship programs. For more information, or to learn how your company can participate in the program, visit www.AAAScholarships.org, or contact Kerri Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-707-2465 ext. 730.