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Rockford senior defeats all odds; from foster care to full ride

Keith Country Day School graduation ceremony
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 10:55 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Sean Fisher grew up in a low-income area in Rockford with a hard life at home. Fisher and his sister enrolled at Keith Country Day School where they quickly grew close with students and staff.

When Fisher and his sister were put in foster care, one teacher immediately stepped up. Keith History Department Chair Kristin Burns and her husband took the two in without hesitation.

“Foster parents is not a term I use often,” said Fisher. “They’re my parents. They’ve taught me so much. They’ve supported me as parents should.”

Burns got to know Fisher while she coached the history quiz bowl.

Co-head of the school Charo Chaney said Burns went the extra mile for Fisher.

“That takes a very remarkable person and I commend her for seeing something special in him, and wanting to make sure he was in the best environment where he could really thrive,” said Chaney.

Despite the many challenges Fisher faced, he was one of the chosen few out of nearly 20,000 students who applied for the Quest Bridge National College Match. He earned a four year scholarship to Vassar College in New York.

“It was in him all along. It could have been any path. It could have been a negative path for him, but because someone saw something special in him - he knew he had it in him,” said Chaney. “Both of those driving forces got him where he is today.”

Fisher will study Molecular Biology at Vassar, and says he hopes to work for the Center for Disease Control one day. He wants to focus on genesplicing.

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