CSF Scholar Florencio is a fun-loving five-year-old who just started Kindergarten at St. Helena School in the Bronx. Recently, his mom, Gloria, sat down with CSF to discuss why she applied for a scholarship and how she chose Florencio’s school, as well as her hopes and dreams for his future.
How did you find St. Helena School and what made you choose to send Florencio there?
I live in the neighborhood, and I like the school because of the smaller setting. He had attended Pre-K there and it’s just a very friendly, family-oriented school. The principal is wonderful. The teachers are great. Also, I’m Catholic, so continuing in Catholic school is something I want for him.
Why do you think it’s important for parents to be able to choose their child’s school?
As parents, we think we know what’s best for our children. And as his parent, this is what I think is best for him right now. This is what I want for him, and this is where I want him.
How did the CSF application process go for you?
I found out about it because one of the other mothers had told me that her daughter had gotten [a CSF scholarship]. So I got the information from this young lady and then I spoke to the principal, and he helped me go through the steps. I found it to be easy as long as you had the correct paperwork. It was pretty simple.
What was your reaction when you were notified about Florencio’s scholarship?
I mean, I can’t even tell you how shocked I was when I got that letter. I was so happy that he got the scholarship because that’s a big help for us. It’s half of the tuition! You know, it’s not that easy when you’re on a limited budget. It’s very helpful, a blessing.
What would you say if you met a CSF donor?
I would say thank you. I appreciate it truly from the bottom of my heart. It’s a wonderful blessing and it’s going to provide a wonderful opportunity for my son.
Will it be a struggle to pay your portion of the tuition?
There are sacrifices that I’m willing to make for my child, that’s it. If you can’t do certain things, you can’t do them. But it’s going to benefit him in the future, so that’s what counts to me. Sometimes you’ve got to make sacrifices in life. That’s what being a parent is about, making sacrifices for your kids.
What are your hopes for Florencio during the upcoming school year?
Well, you know he’s having a little bit of a problem as far as figuring out what hand he wants to use. He kind of uses both of them now. It’s hard for him to write because he’s always switching hands. I just want him to get a good education and get past that little roadblock. Eventually he’ll figure it out, we all do. He’s excited about learning. He’s a smart boy and he enjoys school. He loves for me to read books to him. And he could sit down and do puzzles all day.
Does Florencio have any career plans yet? What are your hopes for his future?
Right now he says he wants to be a cop or a firefighter. He’s fascinated by police officers and he loves watching firetrucks. Sometimes he’ll throw in a doctor. Last year he was a surgeon for Halloween!
I just want the best for him. I want him to get a good education, to be able to achieve, and go as far as he can go.