When Dan and Maria Bresnahan were house hunting for their family a few years ago, they were not happy with the public schools in areas where they could afford to buy. They had already experienced challenges in the New Hampshire public schools and needed to find a better option when they moved.
Their son Julian had struggled academically at their prior school. He passed all his classes, but he was actually way behind in math. Their daughter Audriana didn’t have a lot of close friends at school. It was hard to build meaningful connections with the other children in her peer group, whose beliefs didn’t line up with hers. As a bi-racial family, they also experienced bullying and discrimination that was never satisfactorily addressed by the school.
When the Bresnahans looked for alternatives to public school near their new home town, they found Children’s Scholarship Fund NH. Maria told us, “While we support public schools, for us personally it wasn’t a good fit. We were in public schools for a while, but it became apparent that it wasn’t aligning with our values as a family. We have six kids (two of them now school-age), and we can’t afford to send them all to private schools on our own. It is really great to have that option; otherwise we couldn’t provide that for them.”
For the Bresnahans, the Education Tax Credit Scholarship (ETC) and Education Freedom Account (EFA) programs have been a game-changer, making it possible for them to afford tuition at Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) for both Julian and Audriana, as well as tutoring for Julian. Maria said that actually applying for the ETCs and EFAs was “way easier than I anticipated it being. When I first thought about it, I was overwhelmed, but when I actually did the application, it was very easy.”
Maria had a friend whose children attended PCA and told them about their approach to teaching the whole child, including character building, morals, values, and academics. The Bresnahans are very happy with their choice of PCA, with their children both benefitting in different ways. Seventh-grader Julian is now caught all the way up in math and he’s doing fine academically. Audriana, now in sixth grade, has built many extremely close peer connections. Issues of bullying and discrimination have also been mitigated, as PCA teaches boundaries, fair play, and respect within a Christian community.
When Maria considers the hopes she has for her children’s education and future, she expresses the heart of so many parents who strive for education freedom. “I just want them to be well-adjusted and healthy, and have clear, attainable goals.”
All New Hampshire children, regardless of family income or neighborhood, should have the education that is the right fit for them. Partner with us in this mission, and receive the highest tax credit available in NH for your donation.