Goal update: We have updated the fundraiser goal to reflect the additional $13,000k we need to raise for her senior year. That is the gap we will be fundraising for next year based on the cost of senior year tuition for 2017-2018 (senior year tuition is higher than 9-11th) and the amount above my income I'm able to contribute. The amount may change if tuition costs increase and will be updated when tuition information becomes available for 2018-2019. I'll also be updating the information found here soon. Please see our updates section to find out our most recent adventures and news!
Prelude: [This fundraiser is about my daughter, about whom you will read in a second, but I wanted to begin by saying I am a woman who does not deserve the amazing people she has in her life. After posting our news on Facebook, I received several messages from people who want to do whatever they can to help Gracie reach her goal. I am so humbled that I am surrounded by such kind, generous, and supportive people who support me and my children in their goals and dreams. It is because of these amazing people and their insistence that I am setting up this page to tell our story and to give people a way in which to donate if they so wish. This is a very large undertaking and I feel it is one that is my responsibility to figure out as her parent. It is only because people actively want to help and because this is such a rare opportunity for a chance few are offered that I am swallowing my pride and making this public. Thank you to everyone who has ever supported us in any way. Without our tribe we would not be where we are today, whether or not she attends the academy. All my love to you all!]
So, what's this all about anyway? One year ago Gracie was on an adventure I was sure we would never top. She auditioned for and was accepted into the six-week orchestra program at Interlochen Arts Camp. It was an amazing experience and one she enjoyed every minute she was there. She learned a tremendous amount and the experience was one she was so very grateful to be able to participate in. At that point she had been studying cello with a private teacher for just a hair under two years. In the cello world (and probably the music world in general) that is very late and requires a lot of ground to make up.
After raising the funds herself to attend her high school music department's trip to New York City, she returned inspired and asked if we could simply complete the application for admission to Interlochen Arts Academy, the boarding arts high school. I saw no reason to not apply. When you never ask, the answer is always no. If it didn't work out, it would not mean the end of her musical career. However, it did mean, if she were to be admitted, that she could focus on her music and academics in a way she can't quite here and would allow her to focus entirely on preparing for the next steps in her journey. Yesterday we got the news that she was accepted.
We have until Monday, August 7th, to secure her spot.
[Before anyone gets too excited this isn't yet a thing. It may not end up being a thing. They offered her a wildly generous scholarship but it's still about $6k more than we could take on to do this in tuition alone. Books, fees, travel, and the required purchase of a Macbook for use with music software means another $2500 or so. It's amazing how close you can be to a dream yet still be just out of reach.]
She's over the moon that she was accepted to begin with and we are proud beyond measure. That in and of itself is a great honor. It's a rare opportunity. She wanted to give applying a shot fully knowing that it might not happen because that's how life works sometimes. Her ability to accept that reality so maturely and without entitlement, grateful that she could even make the attempt, blows me away.
If this doesn't happen then so be it. No one dies and she remains involved in excellent ensembles, has an excellent teacher both at school and privately, goes to a fine school that gives her academic opportunities to challenge her and extracurricular activities that enrich her experience. We are more than blessed no matter what and for that we are tremendously grateful. I'm not going down without a fight but to have this type of "problem" is the type of problem I'd prefer in life. If we can not make our goal, any funds collected will be placed in a separate account to be used only to send Gracie to Interlochen Arts Camp next summer. All funds are for Interlochen-related things only.
Wish me luck as I throw that Hail Mary pass.