Five Tsé Bit A'í Middle School students made history when each was accepted to the prestigious Cushing Academy in Ashburnham. Mass., a private boarding school known for its exceptional academic, athletic and artistic programs. All students from TBA who applied, Shaler Max, Taryn Joe, Hana Walter, Leshaunie Hadley and Kaydence Platero, were not only accepted to Cushing, but also offered either full scholarships or part scholarships.
"These students show us what we already know; That we cannot underestimate ourselves, and that bravery pays off," Sabrina Mehtabuddin, an English and language arts teacher at TBA, said.
The five TBA students will attend Cushing’s illustrious summer program from July 1 to August 3 in Massachusetts. Programs offered during the summer include Prep for Success, Studio Art, College Prep, Critical Skills Across the Curriculum and English as a Second Language. The students will also have opportunities to engage in robotics and engineering, competitive athletics, college-level scientific research, local weekend tours, and visual and performing arts.
“I’m excited and pleased to have been accepted, it is a great opportunity to know new people and new places,” Max said.
One program in particular has already caught the eye of Joe, who wants to become a computer programmer, taking after her father who used to fix computers for a living.
“I can’t wait to know more about computer science,” Joe said.
The student also expressed excitement about discovering new parts of the country and getting a glimpse at college life. Walter, who applied after encouragement from her father and family, said, “I want to explore beyond the Navajo Nation.
“I think this will be a good opportunity to see how university life will be before it happens, with responsibilities and living alone, living with roommates,” she said.
Hadley agreed and said, “I want to know more about other cultures, and get even better in mathematics. I have a great interest in knowing about other countries and visiting. I think this is a great opportunity.”
Platero is trying to spread her excitement to her classmates. Her advice?
“You should try to do this, try to take advantage of these opportunities and see the world outside,” Platero said.
The students who have received partial scholarships have started gofundme pages to raise the funds necessary to attend. They can be found here: