FFS Grad Receives Scholarship
By Katie S.
When Brian H. came to the school in October 2010 he was seventeen years old, failing school, and heavily involved in substance abuse and acceptance seeking behavior. After stays in both inpatient and outpatient rehabs, his parents drove him from their home in Middletown, N.J. to The Family Foundation School.
“We soon discovered we had a loving, but emotionally fragile student in our midst,” said Sid Parham, Chairman of the leadership team. “Brian’s strongest attribute was his willingness to work and his weakest his concern for everyone’s approval.”
Brian’s parents, friends, teachers and Brian himself all agree that he is no longer the same boy who came to FFS two years ago. “I’m closer to God now,” Brian said. “I make better decisions, I’ve gained self-esteem, and I’ve learned to create real lasting friendships.”
Because of his personal and academic achievements, Brian was awarded a scholarship to attend college by the Beacon Tree Foundation, a nonprofit group created by parents in the Richmond Virginia area whose children have gone to therapeutic boarding schools. The foundation’s mission is to help other families with at-risk children by providing information and resources to assist in the treatment and education of these children. Each year, Beacon Tree awards a one thousand dollar a year scholarship to a graduating high school senior who has overcome personal challenges and wishes to continue their education.
For Brian and his family, a high school diploma was once only a dim hope, and a college scholarship was unimaginable. And yet, here he is with both. Brian is grateful for the foundation’s assistance, and is taking full advantage of the opportunity. Although he graduated from FFS in June, Brian will stay at the school until August, while attending Broome Community College as part of its Bridge Program.
“While I’m still at the school,” Brian said, “I’m trying to be a role model; not by being confrontational, but by being a good example. I want the other kids to be able to look at me to see what they should be doing, and what they could do if they work hard.”
Brian’s plans for the future include school, work, meetings, and spending time with his family. In the fall he will transfer to Hartwick College in Oneonta where he hopes to earn a degree in music education. About the future, Brian said, “I’m excited, but also really scared. I know I will succeed if I keep working hard and keep twelve stepping.