Foundations Academy’s Casandra Baird awarded $5,000 college scholarship from NHA CollegeBound

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BRIGHTON — Foundations Academy eighth-grade student Casandra Baird has a head start on paying for a college eduation thanks to National Heritage Academies.


Baird was one of four winners of a $5,000 scholarship from NHA as part of the CollegeBound Scholarship program. Students from 76 schools in nine state applied for the one-time scholarship; about 500 students in total applied.

Casandra is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and International Competition and Assessments for Schools. She is also involved in Girl Scouts of America, choir, theatre, soccer, dance, and piano. Casandra volunteers teaching Sunday school and is also a part of her school’s service club. After high school, Casandra hopes to attend The Juilliard School.

Each student was required to pick from three topics to write a 250- to 500-word essay about their school’s Moral Focus curriculum.

An independent professional selection group picked the winners based on their essay submission, academics, and community service. The winners receive a $5,000 scholarship for college tuition. 

“On behalf on National Heritage Academies it is an honor to award one of our four scholarships to Casandra Baird,” said Tari Reinink, NHA chief marketing officer, in a release announcing the scholarship. “Through her essay writing, community service, scholastic honors, and high praise from those around her, Casandra’s passion for furthering her education is apparent. I have no doubt Casandra will accomplish remarkable things in high school, college, and life.”

Essay topics available included explaining how a community service project allowed the student to apply morals in service to others, describing a situation in which a moral focus virtue helped guide their decision-making process, or from personal experience, explain the impact new technology and science are having on morality.