Michael White DC OSP Full Remarks

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen
and students. I am eternally grateful to be here. I’ll be honest, it is very it’s it’s kind of easy and it’s very difficult to speak
on the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program and I say it’s easy because it
has changed my life for the greater in many ways. But in the same way it’s
difficult for the same exact reason. Because I know the stories of people
whose lives have been literally saved and students whose lives would be upside down without this program and because of that it is really difficult sometimes to
articulate how this program has changed a lot of people in so few words, but I’ll
try. When I was a young man, my mom believed that having a quality education
was the one thing that would make sure that I would be successful when I grew
up. She believed that if we were not able to receive a quality education that we
should find another school that has one. Fortunately, for us there were a lot of
schools that had a quality education that we believed in but unfortunately
for us none of them we had access to this posed a really important question
in this city: should we deny students quality of education simply because
their socioeconomic status? For a long time in a city that answer was
unfortunately yes and I was one of those who was affected by that. There were many parents who were increasingly frustrated that the school that they were limited
to would be only limited to either the zip code that they lived in or the
street that they lived on. As time went on there are many parents who were
increasingly frustrated by this. Fifteen years ago we were able to pass a
program that would allow many students in this area to attend the school of
their choice. Because of that we answered our our answer was different to the same
question that no, the quality of education that you receive should not be
dependent on the zip code that you lived in. Because of this I had the unique
opportunity to go to three different types of schools: a public, a charter, and
a private school and because of this we were able to find a great school called
Cornerstone School of Washington, a school that had a quality education,
great teachers, an environment where all the students were prepared to learn and
were excited to learn and as an added bonus their education was based around a
Christ-like lifestyle. This was that (Applause). This this was the education that we had
dreamed of at one time but now was a reality. For many students it is also
their reality now and it is something that we believe should stay for every
student not only me or in this room or in this city but for every student in
this nation. It is the fundamental belief that no matter what zip code you live in, no matter what street you live on, no matter where you are in your life,
that you should have the ability to have a quality education and that your family
should decide where exactly you go to school. Thank you.

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