I suspect there are two types of people reading this article. Some of you may have done your research about boarding schools, or maybe someone you know has gone through this process. You're reading this for more information or some advice. You are the 10%. The rest of you have probably never heard of boarding schools - well, maybe in a movie, or a TV show where parents threaten to send their kids away, but not like this. You're reading this article because it sounds interesting, or you just have nothing better to do. You are the 90%. Either way, I'm so glad to share my experience with you, giving some perspective or insight into this way of life!
"Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction" - Germany Kent
Hi, I'm Vivian! I'm a freshman in high school and a proud Army Brat. I have switched schools eight times in my life, and I probably would've attended three to four high schools as well. However, I was lucky enough to hear about a unique opportunity opening up for military brats. This is where my story changes, and what I will primarily be talking about in this article.
With the thought that 'there must be a better way,' Orion Military Scholarship Fund was founded. This organization gives the unique opportunity of stability to military children of active duty service members. Orion Military Scholarship Fund is in partnership with 12 boarding schools across the country, and it is still expanding. After being granted the Orion Scholarship, scholars (like me!) interview with partner schools in person or online. These schools chip in significant financial aid, adding to the scholarship. This organization is very new at only three years old, but it is already making a substantial impact on military teens and their families.
From the moment I stepped onto campus at St. Andrews, I knew this was something special. The tour day at my school was incredible, and one I'll never forget. We turned the corner into the parking lot and there were beautiful trees all around us, with students guiding us through and waving with signs. The moment we got inside, we were welcomed with so much spirit and life. My mom was shown classes, while I shadowed a student for the day. The second we met back up, she said that the students in the class had so much enthusiasm for learning. I saw people all over campus kicking soccer balls, talking, and smiling in-between classes. Everyone there seemed like they genuinely enjoyed every second they had there. The entire day was filled with moments like this, and it showed me what the next four years of my life could be like.
"Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown." - Brian Tracey
Although I haven't even arrived on campus yet, this change has already benefited my life significantly. At the start of my eighth grade year, I knew things were about to change. This wasn't new, but the circumstances were. Not knowing my next school was routine, but I felt a greater pressure and stress knowing I would be starting high school. After joining Orion in the winter, this weight was lifted. I was able finish out my eighth grade year, and I was able to say it was one of the best years I've ever had. Having the guarantee of stability for the next four years was almost like the light at the end of the tunnel. I could enjoy that year, without being down about having to restart. This was an incredible feeling, and has set up my mood for not only this year, but the next years to follow.
I know it may be daunting even considering such a significant change. This may be something you've never even heard of before. I know that even a year ago it wasn't something I'd seriously considered. But I ask you, no matter if this turns out to be the right fit for you, that you take this information with an open mind. Attending a boarding school won't be right for everyone, however it is right for some military teens out there. My goal is to get this word to those people.
If you may be interested, or you just enjoy hearing my perspective, please feel free to check out Orion's website or lookout for my future articles! I'm so glad to be able to share my journey with teens out there and spread the word of this amazing, new opportunity being provided to military teens everywhere.