The Kimball Union Fund plays a vital role in sustaining and enriching the KUA experience. Gifts to the Kimball Union Fund have an immediate and direct impact on the students, faculty, and programs at Kimball Union Academy. The KUA Fund is at work every day during the school year. Gifts to the Fund support everything from guest speakers at all school meetings to extracurricular activities in the arts and athletics.
Of particular importance are KUA Fund gifts designated to financial aid which benfit our students directly. With a strong financial aid budget, we are able to open doors to a Kimball Union education for deserving students from diverse backgrounds. They, in turn, enrich our community with their talents, experiences, and interests.
Here are stories of students whose lives have been changed by the generosity of donors like you.
When senior Gustavo Cruz arrived in Manchester, NH, from the small impoverished village of Matanzas, outside of Santiago in the Dominican Republic, he was eleven years old, had his younger brother in tow, and spoke no English other than “hello” and “how are you?” Gus’s road to Kimball Union Academy is a chapter in the American story of immigrants seeking opportunities in the land of plenty. Before Gus came to New Hampshire, his father Miguel had emigrated to New York City where he found work in a factory and sent money home to support his family. Gustavo’s mother ran a juice stand in her village to supplement the income received from her husband. Although their income was meager by most standards, Gustavo recalls the luxury of being able to buy cereal for breakfast, an item that was out of reach for most families in his neighborhood.
Football coach John Lyons heard of Gustavo through Pat O’Neil at the Hillside School in Manchester where Gus played football and CYO basketball. Everyone realized Gustavo’s potential for personal growth and athletic development, and after a visit to campus he enrolled in the fall of 2008. After a year of adjusting to academic challenges and helping the football and basketball teams to successful seasons, Gustavo is brimming with confidence; this past summer he received serious offers from both the UNH and UConn football programs.
Although Gustavo sees a college football scholarship as a gateway to a better education and additional opportunities, he knows that the foundation for success was built upon the generosity of others who supported him at Kimball Union through financial aid. As Gus put it, “you have to be lucky to go far in football and it’s only for a short period of time. I know I have to work hard and get an education.” Gus credits his teachers, coaches, and dorm parents as people who “really care” and at KUA Gustavo has found “a big family of cousins where everybody knows you.” As for his future goals, Gustavo says he wants “to be an inspiration to kids back in the Dominican Republic. I want to give back.”
For Nicolle Moore, a junior day student from Plainfield, NH, KUA is a second home, one that she sees as a house with so many doors waiting to be opened and new rooms to explore. The keys to those doors come to her through the generous support of those who believe in the Academy’s mission, and each room she enters provides an expanding array of opportunities. Right away, Nicolle unlocked the door to academic achievement in her first two years. She’s a high honor roll student and last year’s recipient of the Mount Holyoke Book Prize, given to the sophomore girl who has “demonstrated leadership and service in the school and/or community” and who is enrolled in an academically challenging curriculum that includes AP courses. In addition to her demanding academic schedule (she did not have one free period all year), Nicolle is fully involved with afternoon athletics and evening rehearsals in the Flickinger Arts Center.
Nicolle acknowledges that her biggest influence, and one that she believes is life-changing, is her involvement with the arts program, and dance in particular. Dance teacher Kay McCabe describes Nicolle as “a lovely dancer, extremely flexible and strong, with a courageous spirit that is both passionate and caring,” who “will tackle any challenge with intelligence, wit, compassion, and vigor.” Kay also praised Nicolle as “a consummate team player (who) is extremely supportive of her peers, encourages their success and supports them through failure.”
For Nicolle, life is not a waiting game. As she puts it, “KUA offers so many life experiences. It’s a place where I learn to be self-reliant and where I learn to trust myself, my friends, and my teachers.”