A newly divorced, single mom graced the doors of Christ Lincoln Schools in the fall of 2017. Her daughter, Haylee, was still attending Kindergarten in Omaha at Millard Public Schools. She was struggling in her educational setting. Mom, April Victoria Garcia had moved to Lincoln for a fresh start and felt the tug of sending her daughter to a Christian school and finding a different environment for her. But custody battles were looming and there was no way she could personally afford to make it happen. In the back of her mind though, resonated something her mom had told her about the value of education many years ago when she was a teenager.
April grew up in a small, mostly Hispanic town in New Mexico. She first became pregnant at the age of sixteen with her son Enrique. Subsequently, she became the mother of her son Vince. In 2008, she moved to Omaha and worked three jobs to survive and take care of her boys, who attended the neighborhood school. The struggle and daily grind made it almost impossible for her to enjoy quality time with her two children, but she did what she needed to do and gave the boys the best that she could under the circumstances. She eventually married and Haylee was born in 2012.
Before she left New Mexico for Omaha, her mom told her that at any time her pride, dignity, self-respect or job could be taken away, but that nothing could ever strip away a good education. So, April worked hard and got her GED, an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree. She also just recently completed her master’s degree. She knew that education mattered and knew why she wanted Haylee in a great school that would help her grow academically, spiritually and emotionally. She wanted to give Haylee what she couldn’t give her boys and she wanted her surrounded with the love of Jesus every day. But she knew her financial resources were limited and she didn’t want to work three jobs again and sacrifice time with her family, as she had in the past, to make it all happen.
Fast forward to December of 2019 – Haylee has now been at Christ Lincoln Schools since November of 2017 and is currently in second grade. Custody was eventually granted to April, but not without massive sacrifice of traveling back and forth between Lincoln and Omaha – sometimes multiple times per week and in the early mornings and late at night. Christ Lincoln Schools, through their scholarship program, was able to provide the tuition assistance needed to make April’s dream of having her child in a Christian school with strong academics a reality. She didn’t have to choose between work and family to make it all happen. April is now happily remarried and running a construction business with her husband. She is actively involved in the church and volunteering for various organizations. She is a strong voice for the School Choice movement in Nebraska and speaks out as a mom that benefited from the gift of a scholarship. She believed in herself, believed that she could make a difference for Haylee and Christ Lincoln Schools was blessed to serve she and Haylee with a scholarship.
The Lutheran Schools of Lincoln are proud to give the gift of Christian education, that can never be stripped away, to families like April & Haylee and countless others.