Comments from former students who attended Tinicum Art & Science:

Brandon Shorts

“I attended public school for my freshman year. By the end of the year, I had lost all interest in academics, I was bullied and I was more anxious and depressed than I had ever been. I was in real danger of serious academic issues. My parents pulled me from that school at the end of that year. Through a friend, we had heard about TAS and looked into it. It ended up being the best thing I could of done.

I attended the school from my sophomore year through the end of my senior year. I graduated with a high school diploma and a set of life skills I would of never learned anywhere else. I learned everything from languages to critical thinking to physics and chemistry. My passion in science and math was nurtured and it put me on a path leading to college for chemical engineering. I ended up pursuing, and will be graduating with a degree in industrial engineering instead. But that broad foundation has been integral in my further education, regardless.

Even more importantly though, the school taught me the skills to cope with life. I learned everything from coping mechanisms for anxiety and depression, to socializing, to self-care. I can absolutely say the skills I learned at TAS had an essential influence on the well-adjusted and functional adult I am today. I left my freshman year hating high school, academics and many aspects of my situation. I was an intelligent kid in serious

trouble. I left my senior year with a 3.7 GPA on a path that would, ultimately, lead to becoming an engineer. The TAS model transformed my academic life and changed me as a person even more. I will always be beyond grateful for what I experienced there and even more hopeful the model lives on to always help more kids who struggled like I did.”

Aaron Smith

“I definitely consider my life leading up to the beginning of my sophomore year in high school a downwards spiral approaching a point of no return. For some reason, I thought that no one cared about my well-being, and as a result had virtually no control over my emotions, and was as introverted as they come. Then I found out about about the miraculous existence that I am proud to call my Alma Mater, Tinicum Art and Science. Throughout the three years I attended high school there, I learned so many things that helped me become the person I am today. Through various forms of meditation, mindfulness practice, and trying to combine these two things to help me train Shim Gum Do (a Korean sword-fighting martial art), this wonderful institution not only helped show me how to truly control my emotions and use them productively, but also enabled me to realize that I have such a huge support system in my life, and that asking for help is more than okay. I don’t know what I would have done or where I would be now without the school, but I do know for sure that it has changed and bettered so many lives, and for that, I am forever grateful.”

Aaron Smith

Justus Altmiller

Before I went to TAS I felt like I had no place in the world. Everywhere I went nothing seemed to work out. Then I found the school. For the first time in my life I had friends as well as teachers who cared. My teachers helped me get my life together and ready me for college. If I had not gone to that school I would not have the appreciation for the arts that I have nor the friends for life that I made.”

Justus Altmiller

Christine Bennett

It was over fifteen years ago, that I found the high school that would forever change my life. I had lost all direction and hope for my future and was making every wrong turn possible. My top rated public school was failing me and my family was ready to give up. It was the teachers at the Lotus School of Liberal arts that showed me the support, care and optimism I had been missing in the public-school setting. There is no way I could have achieved the amount of happiness and success in my life without having built the relationships and life skills at this unique school.

Through the mindfulness program of yoga and meditation I transformed my outlook on life. I developed an ability to navigate through challenging circumstances that has allowed me to succeed in many ways. Through the personal teacher-student relationships I developed a stronger sense of myself and learned how to develop quality relationships throughout my life. My teachers have remained my mentors and become my friends, always there to point me in the right direction.

I could have gotten a “good” education anywhere, what I gained from this school goes beyond a traditional education. I have become a life learner who can face all types of adversity without despair. I also believe I can contribute positively to my family and community due to the mindfulness practices that were instilled in me here. I never could have imagined making the dean’s list in college, living abroad, becoming a mother, having a career and running a business without this invaluable high school experience.

Crystal Ungaretta

I’d like to take the time to thank the staff of Tinicum Art and Science which has now transformed into the Lotus school. I attended TAS for my complete high school education and graduated in 2005. My time there definitely had a huge impact on my life especially those awkward teenage years when we are all trying to find out where our place is in the world.

Before TAS I struggled in the public school system for many reasons. My parents were going through a divorce and my life at home was chaotic. This affected my overall motivation and support system. I struggled academically because I became disinterested and depressed. It’s easy to feel lost amongst a 20 plus student classroom. I started my education at this school with poor social skills, no desire to learn and coping mechanisms that included, screaming, cursing, being disruptive in a classroom or just shutting down in a corner of a room. Though it took some time and there was a huge adjustment period I felt like I had a sanctuary and a family away from my own at TAS. I felt supported and gained a desire to learn and developed many relationships with students and staff. These relationships carried into my adulthood and today. I owe so much to the staff for helping me through a tough time in my life and helping me find my path but most of all for helping me complete my high school education.

I don’t know that I would have completed high school if I stayed in the public school system. The individualized approach and small classes helped me feel supported by my teachers and I stayed motivated. This prepared me for the next phase of my life. So many children slip through the cracks that have potential to achieve success and be functional members of society. I could have been one of those children. The mindfulness approach to teaching was therapeutic and gave myself and classmates a way to destress before absorbing the knowledge we needed to complete our courses. For the past 8 years I’ve worked as a nurse after graduating from Bucks County Community College’s nursing program. So much of my success is owed to the teachers here. This school’s support was there when I needed it the most.

Rosa Sophia

Without this school, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I graduated years ago, yet these teachers continue to be my friends and my support system. I don’t know what I would do without them. As a student, I was able to express myself creatively in ways that I could’ve never done in public school, following my dreams to create art, write, and finally enter the publishing industry. They encouraged me and helped me find my path. Thank you!