No Longer Overwhelmed

After experiencing tremendous loss, Emilie hoped getting into her dream school would help. When that didn't work out she and her family found Fusion, which helped her chart a new course for her life, one with less overwhelm and unhappiness. Read her story in her own words below.

By Emilie L.

Fusion Dallas


Student Ambassador and Founder/Editor-in-Chief of the student art and literary publication: Serendipity.

Why Fusion

After trying a new school, Emilie still wasn't happy or thriving. She wanted to find a place where she could pursue creative endeavors and felt respected by teachers. She found that at Fusion.

Loss and Exhaustion

My story starts in 2014 when my family and I lost our home to a fire. We lost our six pets and besides a few things we were able to salvage, experienced a total loss. I remember for a week everything I owned fit into a drawer. I had been dealing with school-related anxiety and stress, but never in my life had I experienced anything quite as devastating. I felt hopeless and incredibly lost. The fire happened on the night before my first day of eighth grade (a stressful night on its own) and no more than a day after I lost my home I was back at school.

It’s safe to say school was not easy, but if anything the loss I had been dealt was a motive for me to work as hard as I possibly could. It was my eighth-grade year which meant I would be applying to high school and starting my freshmen year the next year. I so desperately wanted to get into the high school I’d wanted to go to since I was a little kid - Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. I thought if I persevered relentlessly then there was no way I couldn't get in, now maybe this would have worked if it wasn't for the fact that I had just been through an extremely traumatizing experience, and dealing with all the emotional grief it resulted in. I worked and worked until I literally couldn't anymore. I was tired all the time, I was frustrated, and I was sad. I had exhausted all my resources and needed help. I decided with the advice of my parents and therapist that it would be best for me to spend some time in an inpatient program to get some help. I spent about a week in the hospital and was able to find some stability.

Hope and Disappointment

I finished up my eight grade year and was accepted to Booker T. I was beyond excited. I thought that this new school would be the answer to all my problems. I would do theatre every day and be able to really pursue what I was passionate about without jeopardizing my academic achievement. It did start like that, but obviously I wouldn't be writing this if it had stayed that way. After about a month at Booker T. I was right back in the same place I was before - tired, frustrated, and sad. What hurt the most, however, was the theatre I had once loved and lived for had gone from a passion to something I never looked forward to doing. The way teachers at the school taught theatre made it no longer feel like art to me. I was so overwhelmed that I was compromising my personal well-being trying to stay afloat.

I let this go on for about four months, hoping that maybe things would just work themselves out, I was so desperate for things to turn out the way I had hoped. They didn’t. It all came crashing down on me and I felt like I was being drowned in stress and sorrow. So again, with the support and encouragement of my parents and therapist, we decided it would be best for me to return to an in-patient program. I spent about a week at the hospital again and when it was right for me to leave we knew that I couldn't return to Booker T., to go back would make the cycle repeat itself, I couldn't do that again.

Finding the Place for Me

So I talked to my therapist; he asked me what I wanted in a school, I said I wanted a school where I could feel at home, a school where I learned about what I was interested in without being overwhelmed with work constantly, as school where I could pursue creative endeavors and a school where I felt I could be respected by teachers and get along with them. I thought what I was asking for was impossible until my therapist suggested Fusion. He explained to me how my classes would be one on one, how I wouldn't take homework home, how they value respect and tolerance, and how overall the environment would be one I could really thrive in. My mom came to take a tour and said she was very impressed so I decided to take a look as well. Immediately, I fell in love. I knew Fusion would be the place for me. I knew the transition would be hard, but I was ready for the challenge because never before had I seen a school where getting out of bed in the morning to go would be something I could look forward to.

I started as soon as I could in the second semester of my freshman year. Today, I am a junior here at Fusion Dallas. I am a Student Ambassador, and the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of our student art and literary publication Serendipity. I ditched theatre and have found a new passion for the visual arts and I volunteer weekly at the SPCA of Texas. I plan to graduate from here next year with my group of best friends and have never been happier and more confident in myself and the things I have accomplished. I’m no longer overwhelmed and unhappy with my life and I recommend this school to anyone that feels like they are. Thank you, Fusion.

89 %

of Fusion students say they are able to explore creative interests, compared to 39% before Fusion.

91 %

of students feel listened to and treated with respect by their teachers, compared to 40% before Fusion.

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