I am in the middle of acquiring a complicated, messy, preexisting business.  Knee deep in financials, software, server infrastructure, client wish lists and inter company politics, and I get a call.

No one is unimportant at this point.  I am not sure who I could need in the future and unwittingly upset, so I pick up.  It is Louisa, Jeffery’s mother.

Jeffery won first prize in a recent Essay contest I ran through my non-profit.  Jeffery was not present when I flew over to award the prizes.

Louisa tells me that a baby in the family was in critical condition, so they had to travel, and miss the awards.  Both Jeffery and Louisa are surprised that Jeffery won the first prize.  Jeffery’s entry for the entrepreneurship Essay was whimsical, and made all my judges laugh.  His idea was to incorporated music into cleaning appliances, to make the day to day chore of hose work more entertaining.

I am thrilled to hear from Louisa.  She tells me a little bit about herself.  She is a single mother.  She sent Jeffery to a public elementary school, where over time they decide that Jeffery has a learning disability.  Jeffery is sent to a special education program.  The Special Education class room is full of kids who require a lot more attention than Jeffery does.  So, Jeffery is lost in the program.  Louisa decides to pull Jeffery out of school and home schools him for four years.

In high school, Louisa decides to send Jeffery to a small, poor, private christian school.  To afford this, she used the money from her IRA.  Then, Jeffery wins an Entrprenership award.

What comes next for Jeffery?  In the public school, he learnt about is disabilities.  In a private school, he learnt to be an entrepreneur.

The story was so powerful, that it gave me goosebumps to speak to Louisa.  If I have influenced one life, it is tremendous.  I can die happy.  But how many more Jefferys are out there?

Why is school choice important to me?  I sent my kids to private schools because I could afford to.  I always had a choice.  The same choice that is available to wealthy actors, celebrities, and politicians that  vote to kill school choice programs.  Those who don’t have a lot of choices are other moms like Louisa who don’t have the courage to pull their kids out of special education programs and home school.  Kids like Jeffery have no choice but to be stuck in failing school systems.  Mothers like Louisa have no choice but to spend their retirement funds on their kids futures.

This is why I support School Choice.

My business acquisition is important.  But not more important than future entrepreneurs.  Not more important than Jeffery.  The world needs more stories like Jeffery’s.

Some background on the contest:  The Contest was run as a pilot program through my non-profit: Her Rights.  The idea is to promote Free Markets and Entrepreneurship among k-12 students.  The contest was to write an essay about an original entrepreneurial idea.  around 100 students participated.  First, second and third prizes awarded in three categories, 7th & 8th; 9th & 10th; and 11th & 12th.  Great work was done by the teachers and the school in coordinating the entire effort.  I consider the program a great success.

What are your thoughts?

*originally posted on Ricochet.com