This week, for National School Choice Week, IWF is doing a series of Q&As with school choice advocates from around the country. We interviewed mothers who started out advocating for their children and then realized that they needed to do everything they could to empower all families with education freedom.  

1. You raised three children in Washington, DC. How did your son William’s education experience inspire you to advocate for options for him and, eventually, for other DC families?

When I realized that William had lost his spark to learn and had fallen into that place in schools that too often just give up on children, I knew I had to do something! I was his mother. I knew he had great potential. I knew that if others didn’t see that, I had to be the one who would make he did not fail. As I began to fight for William, I encountered other parents who felt as I did but didn’t know what to do. Thus our journey began to fight to save our children…ALL CHILDREN.

2. Your school choice story was turned into a powerful and emotional movie called Miss Virginia. When you were advocating for the creation of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program—and then fighting year after year for its survival—did you ever think your story would be turned into a movie and reach such a large audience?

I never ever thought about a movie being made about our fight. Actually, it’s still pretty surreal to me.

The parents I stood shoulder to shoulder with were fighting for our children’s future. We believed that if we could somehow get people to help us find a way to save our children, their futures would be brighter. That was what mattered to us! BUT I am happy that the movie was made and that it has impacted and inspired parents to use their voices and become advocates for their children. The journey was difficult and truly amazing and brings so much joy as we see children succeed. 

3. How can school choice advocates encourage parents who are frustrated with what’s happening in their schools to become education freedom warriors?

As school choice advocates, we MUST continue to teach, talk and support parents. We MUST continue to reach out to families who are unsure what to do to help their children. I believe that when parents hear the stories of those who have been fighting and have experienced some success, it gives them the courage to stand strong and use their voices to become warriors for America’s children.  

4. What is the school choice myth that frustrates you the most? 

The myth that frustrates me the most is that money solves everything. They overlook so many other things that children need to be successful.  

5. Because of your advocacy and leadership, over 30 states have private school choice programs now. What do you hope happens next in the education freedom movement?

I want to see more programs around the country become available for more children. I want to see parents continue to find opportunities for their children to thrive. My dream is that every child has access to the best education possible… an education they deserve.  

Read Virginia’s Champion Women profile HERE.