What was your transition like after NSA?
After graduating in December I had nothing to do and no one to do it with. When I went home my friends were all in the middle of their freshman years at college.
I was still living with my parents until I would go to university in Washington the next August. I had to actively create obligations for myself. It didn't help that my first week was spent recovering from a wisdom teeth extraction, which gave me a great excuse to sit in front of my computer all day like the days of old. It was different of course, than before attending New Summit. I was spending time with my family, sleeping regularly, remaining healthy.
After Christmas I printed off about forty resumes and walked around town, giving them to any business that would take one. I received offers from a few places, and I ended up working at a
frozen yogurt shop. I also took Intro to Ethics at my local community college.
What was your biggest challenge in your transition?
In December and January, when I was slipping toward pointlessness, I did roughly what I had planned in my transition quarter. I was sensible. In May after my class ended, 19 hours a week standing behind a register weighing cups of yogurt wasn't enough to stave off that hollow feeling of existential drifting. I, somewhat impulsively, decided to go adventuring. I used some of the money I had earned to buy a plane ticket to Ketchikan, Alaska and found a job on a fishing boat until August.
What advice would you give to current NSA students?
In general I advise making a specific and achievable plan that advances whatever short or long term goals you have while bringing you some degree of happiness. That being said, I also advise testing yourself. Test your will, your resiliency. You will then be better able to plan for yourself having an honest self-assessment of your character.
What are your strongest memories of your time at NSA?
The Aventuras are doubtlessly the most memorable part of my stay at New Summit. I often think back nostalgically to those beaches, kayaks, trails, and especially to the company. I am grateful to have had those experiences. Sweat-saturated clothing, sore feet, burned skin, a knot in my back, blisters on my hands, sand in my shoes and pack, tired arms, tired legs all tested my patience.
I chose to maintain a positive attitude (most of the time), reminding myself that these burdens are temporary and that I have the strength to persist. I learned to take complete ownership of my life. Everything I do, whether I succeed or fail, is a product of the effort I apply.
New Summit Academy is fortunate to have many of our students return to “give back” to the program and to serve as interns and valuable mentors for our current students. This summer, we proudly welcomed a 2016 graduate, Zach, who has joined our team during a college break. Zach, who is double majoring in Physics and the Classics, was generous enough to share some of his experiences with us
May 1st is here! This day marks the deadline for our seniors to have made their final selection and enrolled in the college or university of their choice.
This process began months and months ago with students detailing the characteristics of a learning environment that would best fit their needs, and has resulted in these impressive stats:
--- 100% of students who participated in the full college guidance process have been accepted and enrolled
--- 65% of schools applied to offered admission
---- Seven acceptances from the “Colleges That Change Lives”
---- College or University enrollment for Fall 2018 includes: Eckerd, Loyola Marymount, Queen Mary of London, Montana State, Allegheny, St. Edward’s, UT Austin School of Engineering, CU Boulder, Juniata, Flagler, NC State, Denver, and Tulane’s Honors Program
---- A total of $1,191,000.00 in merit scholarships offered!
Congratulations to our seniors; we are proud of you and look forward to great things!
The excitement is palpable as our seniors receive almost daily decisions about their college applications.
Recent acceptances have included:
Queen Mary University of London, Belmont University, the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Engineering, Trinity University, Tulane University, the University of Denver, Marquette University, Loyola of Chicago, and Duquesne University.
To this date, our seniors have been offered a combined total of over $890,000.00 in merit scholarships. Congratulations, Seniors!
Months ago, NSA’s spring graduates began the extensive process of preparing for their transition back to life in the U.S. – be it a return to high school or enrollment in college in the fall.
Our Transition Program, led by a dedicated team, guides students and their families in “getting real” with what the coming months will hold, while helping students develop concrete skills and support structures for continued success.
Elements of the Transition Program include:
- A comprehensive Transition Plan created by students, their families and their team, which details expectations, goals and steps, and needed support that receives weekly feedback
- A series of Life Skills Workshops chosen by the students that may include Safe Travel, Finances and Budgeting, Sex and Dating, Car Maintenance, or Independent Living Skills
- A Transition Family Workshop on-campus engaging students and families in four days of therapeutic and transition work
- Opportunities to develop and put to the test greater responsibilities and freedoms in our off-campus Transition House
The Transition Program is one of many key efforts at NSA that help prepare students for continued success in their next steps, and we appreciate the energy and support of our graduates, their families, and the Transition Team.
Students continue to balance their senior year course load with transition planning as well as finishing up their college applications. Already this year, we have received some exciting acceptances and scholarship offers for our amazing students.
Schools offering admissions so far include:
Dominican College, Ohio Wesleyan, Juniata College, Allegheny College, The University of Portland and Elon University. Just as exciting are the merit scholarship offers; even though we are just entering the decision period, with many more to come, NSA students have already been offered a combined total of $387,000.00 in merit scholarships.
Well done, seniors!
This week, New Summit Academy proudly awarded high school diplomas and certificates of program completion to six young men who have – like all of our graduates – shown impressive effort and growth during the past year.
December graduation coincides with our seniors wrapping up their college application process, and reflecting through their personal essays on their unique journeys. As we celebrate this graduation and look forward to more stories of success in the future, we would like to share a handful of excerpts from these student reflections:
NSA’s seniors are currently in the midst of the college application process. As early action deadlines are here, and with regular decision deadlines approaching, our students are busy writing and editing essays, filling out applications, and requesting letters of recommendation. To arrive at this point, our students have spent the previous months involved in an introspective process to determine what characteristics will lead to their continued success. We then take those characteristics and generate schools which meet them, providing students with an initial list of possibilities. After much research, discussion, family input, and campus visits, students are now finalizing their apply-to lists and taking the steps to submit applications that reveal their unique stories of challenge and growth.
Best of luck to our seniors as they complete this important step!
Teachers and all of our staff work very hard to help students develop real skills for success. Every once in a while, one of our graduates reaches out to say thanks and to help make our jobs even more fulfilling. The message is important for our families of current seniors, as well as an example of college application success.
From a 2016 High School Graduate:
“I just wanted to write to tell you how much I appreciate the time you devoted towards helping me and my family during my college process over a year ago. That was a stressful, exciting and crucial time in my life where you did an impeccable job of helping me stay organized, write concise essays, and choose a school where I can continue to be academically successful. Not only that, but I am truly grateful for the academic skills that I learned while in Costa Rica and the curiosity of mine which was utilized in and out of the classroom like never before while at New Summit. As time continues I only appreciate these things more and more. From the bottom of my heart, I want to write to say thank you to you and all of the other teachers who have impacted my life and academic career in such a positive manner. I am also proud to say that I finished with a 3.46 GPA freshman year. I am continuing to expand my mind and curiosity here at Fordham inside the classroom.
Anyways, I hope to visit NSA soon but for now, I say hi and send my regards to the academic staff!" - Robbie
This past week, the NSA community – faculty and staff, students and families – gathered to celebrate the high school and NSA program graduation of two beloved students. The day was bittersweet, as both students became important contributors to our campus throughout their stays, helping guide their peers, developing a healthy milieu, and achieving amazing academic and personal growth.
These young men are each setting out for very different, but equally exciting, paths after graduating with honors. One will return home to continue working on his college applications with the plan to enroll in the fall of 2018. The second embarked with NSA on an adventure to South Africa and plans on joining our Bridge program to investigate internships. We are very proud of both young men, and excited for their certain future successes.
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