After losing her father at a very young age, Tiffany Bello-Spence has seen firsthand the sacrifices her mother, Janice Bello, has made to provide for their family, including ensuring she has access to a quality education and opportunities to make her dreams come true. When it became clear that Tiffany needed a more challenging academic environment, a scholarship from the AAA Scholarship Foundation (AAA) provided a helping hand, making it possible for her to attend a school that is preparing her for a successful future.
Tiffany and Janice share an unbreakable bond, perhaps made even stronger by the trials and tribulations they have overcome. Tiffany was born prematurely, which required her to have additional care and therapy that would extend until she entered Kindergarten. Tragically, before she would reach her first birthday, her father Philip passed away from cancer. A grieving Janice had to remain strong and push forward to build a life for her and Tiffany the best she could –while keeping Philip’s memory alive. Still to this day, Janice and Tiffany honor him on his birthday each year with a paper lantern ceremony.
Over the years, Janice and Tiffany persevered, with Tiffany continuing onto elementary and then middle school. However, as Tiffany began inching closer to entering high school, Janice did not feel like she was being adequately challenged in her classes. Additionally, as Tiffany began to talk about her future plans, she expressed a strong desire to attend the University of Florida and pursue a career as a veterinarian. Tiffany was a bright and independent young lady, but Janice worried that her determination would be stifled if she continued in an environment that didn’t provide the tools to foster her growth and inspire her to reach for her full potential.
As they explored their options, one school came to the forefront – Saint Brendan High School in Miami. The school had everything they hoped for – a strong academic program with separate academies within the school, similar to college majors, that allow students to focus on specific areas of study including medical sciences, STEM, law and business and visual and performing arts. While she would not be able to afford the tuition on her own, Janice discovered that they would qualify for a tax credit scholarship from AAA, easing the financial burden and giving Tiffany the chance to pursue her dreams.
“As a parent, you want to do anything possible to make sure your child is given the opportunity to flourish and achieve their goals,” says Janice. “The AAA Scholarship Foundation opened the door for my daughter, enabling her to access educational options that were out of reach.”
In the fall of 2021, Tiffany began her ninth-grade year at Saint Brendan High. The school’s advanced coursework has provided the challenge she was craving and as a result, she is excelling. Thanks to her hard work and perseverance, she was one of 30 students accepted into the school’s medical sciences academy, enabling her to access a specialized curriculum, electives and other activities to prepare for college and her future career as a veterinarian.
The school’s positive atmosphere has also inspired her to break out of her shell and take on new challenges outside of the classroom, such as joining the volleyball team and participating in extracurricular activities such as art club, medical club and key club. Additionally, while taking on a sport the first semester is typically difficult for students transitioning from middle school to high school, Tiffany was able to manage the added responsibility and still keep her grades up.
As a single parent, Janice still makes sacrifices for Tiffany to attend Saint Brendan, but she knows the outcome is well worth it.
“The AAA Scholarship Foundation and its donors have made all this possible,” says Janice. “Thank you for giving parents like me the ability to help our children’s dreams come true. Your support is making a world of difference for so many students and serving as a stepping stone towards a successful future. We are so grateful!”
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 kerri @ aaascholarships.org or 888-707-2465 ext. 730.