E. E. Ford Grant: Students with Refugee Status - Vermont Commons School Skip to main content

E. E. Ford Grant: Students with Refugee Status

Vermont Commons School received a matching grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation during the summer of 2017. For the four years of high school the grant provided the portion of tuition all families on financial assistance are required to contribute for refugee students living in the Burlington area.  The grant funds also covered supplies for academics, athletics, transportation and access to Encounter Week trips, such as a visit to our sister schools in Peru or China, service work in Belize or St. John U.S.V.I., or back-country trips in the Maine wilderness.

In keeping with our mission ‘Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.’ we partnered with the USCRI (United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants) Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, King St. Center, and other local organizations with their finger on the pulse of the Refugee community to identify students and families interested in rigorous progressive education. In addition, part of this grant went toward developing partnerships with local colleges and universities to create avenues for these students to continue–and successfully complete–their post-secondary education. Often, a Refugee family will have to wait a generation in seeking college until their financial circumstances allow.  Because 100% of Vermont Commons School graduates have gone on to college since our inception in 1997, it has been our goal through these partnerships and our college preparation, that missed opportunity won’t be necessary.

By the start of the 2023-24 school year, all grant funds had been expended or allocated;  however, thanks to the initial support of the EE Ford Foundation, the school now continues the same work through its own resources and additional new donors.  As a result, Vermont Commons School is presently looking for students with Refugee status interested in attending high school at Vermont Commons. Candidates should contact Kat Nelson, Director of Admissions, at 802-865-8084 or knelson@vermontcommons.org for information on the application process.

Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

Students emerge from their time at Vermont Commons School intrinsically motivated to seek out their role for improving the world, with the skills and competencies to do so.