The Fusion Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce our 2021-22 scholarship recipients. Each student has received some level of support from the Fusion Scholarship Foundation to help make their educational goals and dreams a reality. Read a bit about each of the recipients below.
Fusion Academy Greenwich
The opportunity to attend Fusion has been a game changer for Carsen, according to his mom Reaney. “Fusion has allowed Carsen to feel safe andcomfortable. He has a wonderful rapport with all of his teachers. He is much less anxious and is actually starting to feel confident about his abilities in school.”
Carsen says Fusion has changed his academic perspective because he’s now able to take time to break down concepts in ways that make sense to him. “At my other school, I would sit in class, frozen in fear because the pace was moving too quickly for me to take notes and grasp the concepts. At Fusion, if there’s something I am not sure about, I can stop and get clarification from my teachers.” As a result of his Fusion scholarship, Carsen’s parents are looking forward to seeing him continue to build his self-esteem and trust himself as a learner.
As a young woman with big goals and a passion for singing and songwriting, Senior Courtney sees Fusion as playing a key role in her education and future success. “The one-to-one approach and flexible scheduling makes learning not only manageable, but gives me the opportunity to excel. I also benefit because of the specialized course offerings, such as Recording Arts, which are often not available in traditional schools.”
According to her mom Yvonne, Fusion has renewed Courtney’s love of learning: “Fusion’s approach to academics has restored her confidence in her academic ability and in herself. Her teachers are of the highest caliber, and importantly, they are all patient and kind.” She says receiving a scholarship has brought her family peace of mind and will help Courtney remain in a supportive and enriching learning environment with people who care about not only her academic achievements, but also her well-being.
As a 12th grade Fusion student, Rachel no longer feels like a number. Instead, she sees herself as part of a community that includes teachers who encourage her creativity and find ways to engage her in school subjects that she previously felt uninterested in.
Receiving a scholarship after the pandemic caused financial hardship for her family has meant she’s been able to continue attending Fusion for her senior year. “Fusion has been a transformative experience for Rachel, and we are looking forward to watching her continue to explore, grow, and thrive over the next year,” say her parents Jennifer and Ian. “This scholarship means Rachel will continue to receive the support to realize her potential and continue to follow her dreams. We have already realized our hopes for Rachel as she is developing a lifetime love of learning thanks to Fusion’s inspiring teachers.”
Kenyon is a senior with a passion for many things, including science, basketball, music and the recording arts. His family says he never meets a stranger, and they believe a Fusion scholarship will not only influence his life, but also future generations in their family.
“The academic scholarship will alleviate the financial burden/hardship for our family, allowing us to focus on the mission of Kenyon graduating and the next chapter(s) beyond high school,” say his parents. “Whether it is a gap year, traditional college, technical school or serving the community, Kenyon has enough resources and a positive team to help guide him in the direction he chooses.”
Shain is a senior who enjoys basketball, video games and spending time with family and friends. As a result of the Fusion scholarship, Shain’s mom Abby says she’s looking forward to her son growing as a person, continuing to do well academically, and developing more confidence. “Fusion has been life changing for Shain,” she says. “Since he started classes at Fusion, his grades have soared, he is happy, and he can’t wait to go to school every day.”
Shain also notes his grades have gone up and that he feels respected and cared about. “The kindness has been infectious, and I am feeling better about myself and my studies.”
According to Valentina’s mom Zelene, feeling safe in Fusion’s environment and being given interesting and engaging learning material has allowed her daughter’s best self to come out. “Once she saw that she liked to learn and was good at it, she became more confident, more motivated, and more inspired to keep challenging herself and growing.”
Receiving a Fusion scholarship, Zelene says, will mean more growth for Valentina, both intellectually and emotionally. “I look forward to hearing her stories after class about how excited she is about what she learned that day. I look forward to her having an expanded and bigger vision for her life as she learns new things.”
For 11th grade Zac and his mom Jennifer, Fusion has provided an accepting and supportive environment after some tough middle school years. “I love to see how connected Zac is with his teachers and how much they care about him in return. I hear when he is struggling; I hear when he does not study or when the approach is not working. I hear about new methods when something does not quite work. I hear about all of the success. You get none of that at other schools. I hear from the teachers every day. He will never fall through the cracks here.”
Jennifer feels Fusion has been a blessing and is excited about the opportunity this scholarship brings her son. “The administration and staff have been so supportive to Zac and us. I do not know of another place that would take the time to recognize the needs of each individual student and their family.”
Sasha is bright and compassionate and cares deeply about people and the world. She’s gone from barely surviving to thriving since attending Fusion in September 2019. For the first time, says her mom Leah, Sasha has hope and is making plans for the future. “Fusion reignited my passion and desire to learn,” says Sasha. “Before Fusion, I couldn’t get out of bed to attend or log into school. Now I want to spend as much time at school as they will let me!”
This scholarship means that Sasha can graduate from high school, which will certainly change the course and trajectory of her life: “I cannot wait to see what happens next!” says Leah.
Fifteen-year-old Mmbekalo (MK) was born in Tanzania, Africa, after his family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo to escape genocide and political war. They arrived in the United States four years ago, hoping for a better life and education, according to MK. However, due to his lack of consistent education in the refugee camps and a vocabulary that wasn’t as strong as others in school, he struggled academically.
Both MK and his mom agree that a Fusion scholarship offers him the opportunity to fill in his academic gaps and experience more opportunities. “His teachers have been fantastic in being patient, encouraging him and giving direction,” says his mom Bahati Jeanette. “In regards to his personal development, he has learned to ask more questions, enjoyed meeting a lot of different people and has experienced a lot of growth in learning about people outside his community as well as them getting to know him. It’s been a win/win in all areas. We are so thankful for this amazing opportunity.”
Robbin is known by those around him to be a friendly, hardworking and outgoing leader with a big personality and a love for adventure. As a refugee from Uganda who arrived in the U.S. just five years ago, he struggled academically: “At my old school, I was very behind and felt completely paralyzed, hopeless and discouraged.” Although he says his teachers and administrators liked him, Robbin struggled to get the personalized help he needed to understand the academic concepts he needed in order to learn and thrive. “I just want a chance to succeed in life,” says Robbin. “To be given the opportunity to learn and to be around people who care about my education. I will work hard; I just need the opportunity and a chance.”
Fusion’s one-to-one education was exactly what he needed to catch up academically. “Receiving this scholarship is a huge blessing and gift,” says Robbin’s parents. This is an opportunity they say Robbin and their family would not have had if it weren’t for this Fusion scholarship. They believe his ability to receive a good education with dedicated teachers and in a wonderful environment will influence the trajectory of Robbins’ future and that of their family.
After years of Kelby struggling with school, his parents enrolled him at Fusion for a summer to see how he would do in a new environment. “We were happily shocked when Kelby loved it,” say his parents, Tracy and Kevin. Kelby began to thrive in Fusion’s one-on-one classes. A big change, according to his parents, was his new-found love for school, including getting up early for classes and talking about attending college, both things Kelby had not done before.
Unfortunately, due to financial hardship, the family had to move Kelby back to homeschool for a while, and his enthusiasm for learning waned again. A scholarship means Kelby is now able to complete his last year of high school at Fusion. “It was such a blessing to be able to tell him that he was awarded the scholarship and would be able to return,” say his parents.
Learn more about the Fusion Scholarship Foundation here.