Confidence, Hope, and Growth

Jessica came to Fusion after feeling hopeless and refusing to go to school. Below you can read her story, which was taken from a speech she gave in front of a large crowd during a campus celebration.

By Jessica K.
Campus

Fusion Sugar Land

Grade Level

Started in 10th grade

Why Fusion

Jessica wanted to get away from the high-pressure, large school environment she was in, which led her to refuse to go to school at all. She calls Fusion a "little miracle" in her life.

School Refusal

Fusion is the kind of place where hope blooms. It’s the kind of place where growth happens. The kind of place where you feel like your words have meaning to those around you. The kind of place where I have the courage to stand before you and speak these words because I have faith in the kind of person I am.

I haven’t always felt this way. Being in a large, high-pressure school is a dream for some people, the sort of place where they would thrive. But for someone whose response to stress is going into “armadillo mode”, I’ve had enough of an environment where 10 tests and quizzes a week was considered normal.

On top of this, your teenage years, as I am told, are the height of insecurity. How else can you describe a time when thousands of young, naive, hormonal individuals are thrust into a building for seven hours a day? Each and every mistake you make seems astronomical when you have nothing else to compare it to. All of this pressure became increasingly overwhelming, and I could feel myself sinking further and further into hopelessness each and every day.

Eventually one day last fall, I decided I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I like to learn, and I value my education, but I was exhausted. That one day turned into a week, then two, then three.

And let me tell you, sitting in your bed for three weeks is not as fun as it sounds. I was ready to give up and just become a recluse. (Friends are overrated anyway). However, my very concerned parents were at a loss. How do you help a child whose problems cannot be fixed with a band-aid? By chance, (or perhaps a very helpful recommendation from my therapist) we heard of Fusion, a “revolutionary one-to-one private school.” An appointment to visit was made, but I did not have high hopes for this so-called “revolutionary” school. Boy, was I proven wrong.

Finding My Place at Fusion

The moment I stepped on the campus I was in awe. It didn’t look much like a school, or any sort of school I’d ever seen. It seemed more like some new tech company in Silicon Valley run by an ambitious, young entrepreneur. My parents and I toured this dream factory and it was as if a veil had been lifted. There was an impressive music studio, yoga room, art room, and some adorable classrooms. Still, the biggest shock? Everyone was genuinely happy to be here. They were working on projects that interested them, had formed great friendships with both teachers and students, and felt safe and at ease here. Had Fusion gotten rid of every single problem they ever had? No. But was it providing them with the abilities needed to overcome those obstacles? The answer is a resounding yes.

After shadowing Fusion, choosing to attend was an easy decision. I was not expecting instant perfection, yet I was hoping for progress. And slowly but surely, progress came. I no longer obsessed over every little thing, I genuinely looked forward to walking into school each day, and I felt like I finally belonged somewhere. With all this support and love, how can you not start to come out of your shell?

I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences at Fusion. We’ve had Christmas celebrations, gone to an escape room, I’m starting an environmental club, and I’ve even received a typewriter from the Tom Hanks. If you haven’t seen it on the Fusion Facebook yet, we were even featured on the news! I don’t think I would have had the courage or the will to accomplish so much even just a few months ago.

Tom Hanks gave us a typewriter!

Posted by Fusion Academy Sugar Land on Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Growth and a Future

All my growth wasn’t strictly external, however. The months since I’ve started have already brought me closer to the person I want to be. There are still good days and bad days, but each and every one is important here because everyone is invested in your success. That encouragement has helped me become more comfortable around others, make new friends, and begin to love myself for who I am. I now look forward to the future, to college and beyond, because I want to find more lovely people like the ones I’ve met here.

I hope to be here until I graduate from Fusion in a couple of years, and in the meantime, I know that I’ll continue to grow, just like all the other Fusionites here who are fighting their own internal battles.

Some kids are here because of difficult schedules, some kids are here because they are struggling with anxiety and depression, and some are here because they have ADHD. However, regardless of the reasons we’re together, we’ve all formed a community, where each one of us has a place. And let me tell you, we’re going to be the next generation of people who change the world.

We all have little miracles in our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not, and I’d like to think that Fusion is one of mine. And if you’re looking for a change, perhaps Fusion can be your miracle too.

90 %

of Fusion students felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed after three months at Fusion.

80 %

of Fusion students say they can motivate themselves to complete unpleasant tasks that help accomplish their goals.

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