He is my second of three children and has a huge place in my heart. His path has been filled with unforeseen bumps and bruises; more than a mom would ever want for a child. He always struggled with learning differences, dyslexia being the most prominent one, and that made school difficult for him. Sports were his “thing” and he was very gifted athletically. Socially, people were drawn to him because of his athletic ability, but academics were always a challenge. He worked hard to keep his head above water in school because the payoff was playing football on Friday nights or baseball on any given day.

At the end of his sophomore year, things took a dramatic turn. He was injured playing football, and those injuries led to two different surgeries. The thing that kept him going was taken away from him, and that began a downward spiral. Anxiety turned into depression which was made worse by medications needed after his surgery. I call it our “year of darkness.” Not only was it a hard time for my son, but it was also a really difficult time for our family.

When we finally came up for air, it was the end of his junior year and it was time to piece together other educational options. At this point, he needed to make up two years of school in one year. I didn’t know what we were going to do.

We had moved to Dallas from outside the city, and it wasn’t an option for him to return to his previous school. I then remembered a school I had discovered a couple years before when I was looking for an arts school for my other son. It wasn’t a good fit for him, but now that we needed something different for my second child, I thought it might be an option. I called Fusion, and after meeting with Jenn, the Head of School, we enrolled him in August 2016.

He had to let go of a lot. He wasn’t able to return to his sports teams or his close friends, and he had to completely reset his way of being in the world. The first months at Fusion were hard. He had to catch up academically and heal from social and emotional pain. This isn’t what he planned, and it wasn’t an easy path, but he worked incredibly hard and was able to graduate on time in May of 2017.

The unconditional care, connection, and mentorship that my son received at Fusion were life-changing. His confidence slowly increased. It was a day-by-day journey at some points, but his mentors helped him to gain that confidence, learn to advocate for himself, and be seen as more than the “athlete.” He gained a perspective on life that he wouldn’t have received in his past school. In his old school, he could have just disappeared in a classroom of 30, but at Fusion he was seen. That was huge. Now, he is attending a community college in Idaho, working on a ranch, and thriving.

Fusion will forever have a special place in our heart, and my Fusion journey isn’t over yet. After he graduated, I decided I wanted to go back to teaching after staying home with my three kids. I saw the value of Fusion for my son, and I wanted to be part of it. I currently teach yoga and English at the Fusion Dallas campus. I’m so happy to be, hopefully, helping and contributing back into the greater good.

Katy Goodell is an English and Yoga teacher at Fusion Academy Dallas. She is a California native, born and raised in Orange County. She attended U.C. Santa Barbara and U.C. Irvine, where she received a B.A. in English. Upon graduating, she taught high school English in her hometown of Anaheim. Katy and her husband, Josh, re-located to the San Francisco Bay area where they started a family. Katy then became a full-time mom, staying home to raise their three children. During this time she was an active volunteer in her community. She worked for C.A.S.A. as a court appointed guardian for children in the foster care system and also served as a mentor to high school children. Katy is a Duke Integrative Medicine trained health coach, as well as a certified yoga instructor.

She has a passion for supporting people in realizing their potential. Katy and her family love spending time on California beaches, biking around White Rock Lake, kayaking in Lake Tahoe, and having other road trip adventures. Her guilty pleasures (besides strong coffee with cream and sugar) are: crossword puzzles, sewing quilts, going to the Angelika movie theatre with one of her sons and practicing yoga.

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