Expressions of Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Written by
Stephen Mease

November 22, 2021


Thankful with autumn cutouts

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the VSAC team wants to say a special “thank you” to all the students who have participated in our VSAC Student Spotlight profile series over the last two years. We truly appreciate your taking the time -- and having the courage -- to share your stories with the world.

Cassandra Bittner, St. Albans

“College is amazing, and I am very thankful for VSAC for helping me get here,” she says. “VSAC is very close to my heart.”

Courtney Carr, Orwell

“I have to give a special shout-out to VSAC, and especially to my counselor, Tia Stillman. I had a really close relationship with her. It was almost like a friendship. I thought that was a huge part of what made me successful.”

Allie Root, Bradford

“COVID impacted me a lot. It was super hard being online. But Sara Vargo, my VSAC counselor, helped me out a lot, and she made up for what I wasn’t able to accomplish last year for my college applications. I’m so grateful. I don’t know where I would be without her.”

Amber Wescott, St. Albans

“VSAC‘s Educational Opportunity Center is wonderful. Every time I call, I've always had great conversations with them. They've been really helpful. They are invested in me and in the community. They want to help people reach their goals and dreams. I have been very fortunate.”

Gabriel Unwin, St. Albans

“I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for VSAC. My VSAC counselor, Kate Rowland, told me what I needed to do. That made it way easier. I’m so thankful that VSAC helped me build a future for myself.”

Isabel Cobb, Springfield

“Before starting the VSAC program, I thought that I might want to go to college, but I didn’t know how to get there. VSAC is a life-saver!”

Kate Abdel-Fatah, Braintree

“I think it’s unique and inspiring that VSAC helped a whole family through the application process, and that the Vermont State College system helped the whole way through. I’m very thankful for both of those systems.”

Frank Loveland, Thetford

“One of my best experiences with VSAC was going to Washington, DC, for a GEAR UP conference where students from all 50 states came. And something else I always appreciated is that my counselor, Sara Vargo, was always there for me when I had questions, especially about financial aid. I owe part of my success to VSAC, really. They've been a great resource.”

Kayce Gorton, Hinesburg

“One of the main struggles that I’ve faced in my life is not being able to afford things that other people can because of where I came from. Most of my college education was provided by scholarships from VSAC. I can only say thank you. VSAC helped make my dreams possible.”

Megan Rippie, Milton

“VSAC has been a huge help for my family and I. If I hadn’t participated, I would be in a very different spot right now. I’m grateful I got the opportunity.”

Sophia Desrochers, Fairfax

“VSAC has given me the opportunity to realize, I have something that my parents didn't get, and neither did my grandparents. And I'm very lucky to have this opportunity. Without VSAC, I probably would not have gone to college at all.”

Scott Giles, President and CEO, VSAC

“I’m grateful and humbled that so many Vermont students and families have placed their trust in VSAC to help them on their college and career journeys. It’s amazing to see these successes, and incredibly gratifying to play a small supporting role in helping Vermont students achieve their dreams.”