Who We Are
HISTORY & MISSION
What is Learning to Serve?
We are a Georgia Student Scholarship Organization (SSO). SSOs help students and parents with school choice in Georgia
What is an SSO?
In 2008, the GA General Assembly passed HB1133 which established the Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit Program that allows individuals and corporations in Georgia to receive a dollar-for-dollar income tax credit for amounts contributed towards a qualified SSO. The latest version of the legislation (last revised in 2022) is here.
What does Learning to Serve do?
Our SSO receives funds from individuals and businesses through an application process which includes approvals through the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR). Once a donation is approved for a tax credit by the DOR, we receive applications from students and award scholarships based on merit, namely community service, to attend the K-12 accredited private school of each student’s choice. We ask our recipients to document their service to their community within their application. Our goal is for the student to increase their service hours each year and to grow as a leader.
Why does Learning to Serve award scholarships this way?
We believe every child should be able to choose the school that is right for them regardless of zip code or financial constraints.
In many cases this may involve a private education. However, not all students and their families have the financial means to afford private school. Scholarships provided by Learning to Serve provide access to private education that may otherwise remain out of reach.
Studies show that students who participate in community service make better grades. Community service is also highly regarded when a student is applying for a job or college. While that is certainly good news, we believe that students shouldn’t simply serve others for their own benefit. They should also come to understand that the greater purpose of serving others, as well as receiving a quality education, should be to better the lives of others by giving beyond themselves. We believe that real life experiences like these will help build a child’s character and ensure that a philanthropic ethic will be passed on to future generations.
Learning to Serve Team
Executive Director and Founder
Mandy founded Learning to Serve in 2009 with the goal of helping each student in Georgia attend the school that fits his or her unique needs. She was inspired to do so after she earned a scholarship to attend a school trip to Washington, D.C. in high school, and the donor requested that she give back to her community in return. As a result, she has a passion for helping students develop a sense of responsibility to help others. She has 20+ years of experience in the software industry and small business management.
Mandy is a proud University of Georgia Bulldog and a 1992 graduate of Stone Mountain High School. She serves on the Board of Directors of John Milledge Academy in Milledgeville. She and her husband, Brian, have three sons: Mandell, Hunter and Cooper. They live in Eatonton, GA.
Director of Communications
Heather has volunteered with Learning to Serve since it began in 2009 until she assumed the role of Director of Communications. She saw how Learning to Serve provided her son, who struggled in a traditional classroom, with the opportunity to thrive in an environment conducive to his learning style. She has 20+ years of experience in non-profit communications, volunteer management and children’s ministries. She has a passion for helping students reach their potential through the opportunity that school choice provides.
Heather is a 1998 graduate of the University of Georgia and a 1994 graduate of Morgan County High School. She enjoys serving at her church, Grace New Hope, and the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. She and her husband, Steve, have two sons, Jack and Max. They live in Grayson, GA.
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