By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Students from a Northeast Philadelphia Catholic school held a rally this afternoon to ask Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass “School Choice” legislation.

Dressed in their brown uniforms, hundreds of girls stood on the steps of Saint Hubert’s Catholic High School for Girls, chanting and holding signs asking Harrisburg to help their parents provide them with quality education.

“My life would be so much different if I didn’t go here,” junior Claire Alminde told KYW Newsradio.  “I met all my best friends here — they’re like my sisters.”

Alminde (below) spoke at the rally, telling students what vouchers would do for her family.

(Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle listens as student Claire Alminde addresses the rally. Credit: Cherri Gregg)


“My mom’s a nurse, my dad’s a cop,” she said afterward.  “They both work so hard to put me and my two brothers through Catholic high school.  I try to make their sacrifice for me as easy as possible, but with vouchers it will make their sacrifice a lot simpler.”

Earlier this year, St. Hubert’s supporters successfully raised more than $700,000 after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia listed the school for closure.

Kathleen Ott Lovell, the school’s board chair, says the girls will keep fighting for all Philadelphia students.

“Too many families have resigned to accepting 151 failing schools in Philadelphia for their children,” she told the rally.  “No more!  We need to give all students a chance by giving parents a choice.”

St. Hubert’s encouraged parents to contact their state representatives and ask them to support the passage of school choice legislation, specifically school vouchers and expanded educational improvement tax credits.

Pennsylvania state representative Kevin Boyle (D-Phila.), a Catholic school graduate, attended the rally saying he is in support of the legislation.