Boone Pickens Brings Boarding School to Students in Need
Boone Pickens is doing what I’d do if I had either a pile of money and/or a magic wand- providing the foundation and support to bring the benefits and opportunities of boarding school beyond those who can pay the tuition.
Pickens donated $2.5 million for the T. Boone Pickens Training Center at Happy Hill Farm Academy. The center will provide a training ground for faculty and organizations seeking to emulate Happy Hill Farm’s mission and service- a residential school for disadvantaged children. Happy Hill students come to the school through counseling, Child Protective Services, and other agency referrals.
“…Happy Hill Farm Academy currently has 110 students, but hopes to grow to 250 students. The new training center will enable the private boarding school’s program to be replicated throughout the country, aiding several thousand children per year…
…Others can learn how to mirror this successful program in their part of the country, said C. Edward Shipman, the academy’s founder. Shipman is currently working with groups in New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, and Southern California that are interested in creating similar safe havens for children…
…At the academy, the students live there, work on the farm and get an education, all at no cost. Students live in 15 homes scattered across 500 acres overlooking a valley, with live-in dorm parents to provide guidance. More than 90 percent of the academy’s graduates attend universities or colleges…” (Happy Hill Academy Opens Training Center, Dallas Business Journal)
I love the idea of opening the boarding school experience to any and all kids for whom a boarding environment provides the best way to go to school. Wouldn’t it be great to see Boone, or anyone with similar resources and inclination, spread some wealth with donations designed to lower or defray tuition costs for students and families- a series of good sized financial aid/tuition reduction donations spread across a spectrum of schools. A spectrum of schools open to a spectrum of students.
This is a crack. I’d love to see the doors at all schools open wider.