My daughter Brittney is a sensitive, 15 year old – she loves animals, elderly adults, and soft plump babies. She started high school this year at the local public high school. Unfortunately, for Brittney, It was a toxic and stressful experience.
Brittney is adopted and she joined our family at the age of six.
While I believe her family of origin loved her, during the first six years of her precious life, she repeatedly experienced rejection, neglect, and distress.
After joining our family, Brittney quickly leaned into the love showered upon her, from her ‘chosen family’ and the Bahá’í community. As a result of the acceptance Brittney felt, she gained confidence and did fairly well, in elementary and middle school.
Yet when she entered the public high school community, which lacks diversity and has very casual standards of dress and decorum, almost immediately Brittney began to struggle. Navigating in-groups and the school's social norms that ran contrary to the Bahá’í standard and what she was learning at home – became a distraction from her studies. The otherness (perceived or otherwise) felt by Brittney caused her to withdraw; consequently, it became clear that Brittney wouldn’t thrive at Plainville High; she began to have increased difficulties concentrating and learning at school and even began to uncharacteristically engage in rash and at times antagonistic behavior.
The positive experience Brittney had while at Plainville High was as a committed, player of the freshman volleyball team. She loves volleyball and to nurture that interested, I've begun taking her to a weekly meetup at Smith College, run by their volleyball coach for high school students - she loves it, and we're hoping that she'll play a sport while at Nancy Campbell. Brittney also, offered and was granted the opportunity to offer peer support to the 'special needs' students daily. She was allowed, to go to their special needs class and lend the students support in whatever ways needed. She loved it and it was consistently reported that she did an awesome job and the students loved having her support.
It was very sad to witness; my sweet, loving social butterfly, now, out of fear and rejection morph into a sad, frustrated and noncompliant junior youth.
Even after this unfortunate dynamic surfaced, in Bahá’í settings, with ‘likeminded’ youth, Brittney continued to be her joyful self and she thrived; whether at Camp Tabarsi, Green Acre Bahá’í school or an all-day youth gathering at the Wilhelm Bahá’í properties, in Teaneck.
After consulting Brittney, her teachers, members of our community and even mental health professionals it became apparent (considering her history), Brittney requires an atmosphere where love permeates the community – love and happiness lead the school culture at Nancy Campbell Academy. Bahá’í standards are the solid standard.
Brittney submitted an application to attend Nancy Campbell Academy and after several nail-biting months of waiting, we learned that she was accepted! We are so very grateful!
While the school did offer us a financial aid package, there is still a huge balance left as the family responsibility - that would be a considerable hardship for me to pay as a single working mom - nearly impossible.
I’m seeking help to send her to a school that I’m convinced will assist her in charting a path to service, higher education while fostering lifelong friendships with other Nancy Campbell classmates from around the globe.
Any contribution would help! Please either make your contribution here, or send directly to the school, and If you would like a receipt for your donation please just send along a note with the donation saying it is for your Brittney Anderson’s fund.
School starts, August 28, 2017.
In addition to tuition, there will be uniform and travel expenses.
The balance due for the year is over $15000, however, I'm hoping to raise $4000. in time for her to start school in August and pay the balance in installments throughout the school year.
Your help is deeply appreciated.
- Roy Ralston
- Joan McAdam Sutch