2012 Magic Video Tour in a 1978 VW BusPublished by: Erin Lundell | Date: June : 21 : 2012 | Categories: Featured, Fun posts 1
“Please put on your seat belts and turn off all electronic devices…”. This was it! I was on my way! Inspired by the Beatles album and the classic VW Bus that we were renting I was on my way to my own version of a “Magical Mystery Tour”, and I was headed to California for the first time in my life. If I’m being completely honest I have to admit that it wasn’t really a mystery tour. I knew exactly what I would be doing while I was there and I had planed it all in advance. However; it was a pretty magical experience. How did this happen you may ask. Well, I will tell you:
A month or two ago our CEO Pete Ruppert indicated that he would like to see more testimonials and preferably videos. He was contemplating hiring someone local, but the marketing team was asked if we knew any alternatives. My manager, Patrick, jumped on this and suggested that this was also the ideal trip to introduce the new Social Media Coordinator (Me!) and that making video and distributing this was right up the online marketing and social media alley. He asked me and I instantly agreed. We also figured that since it was a Social Media trip we should try and get some leverage out of the road show itself as well and when Patrick suggested we rent and drive around a classis VW Bus to make the tour in and have t-shirts printed I was all in. The week after I spent weeks setting up interviews and planning which schools to visit with Patrick. We also did extensive research on shooting videos, which consisted of reading one book called “How to shoot video that doesn’t suck”. We were ready!
We started out in Los Angeles and after picking up the VW Van from Bill at vwsurfari.com, a VW Van rental place in California, we visited the South Bay Campus, then traveled down to Solana Beach and visited the Solana Beach Campus. That evening we were lucky enough to stay with the Founder of Fusion Academy, Michelle Rose Gilman, and Peter Mikulecky treated us to one of the best dinners I have ever eaten and one of the most gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean I have ever seen. The next morning we headed out in our red VW Van and traveled up highway 1 to San Francisco. Although 90 percent of the trip was business, we were lucky enough to have some time to stop and sightsee some amazing parts of California. Plus, even if we hadn’t stopped, the drive up Highway 1 was absolutely breathtaking. Every mile had something new that was even more gorgeous than the last. Once we arrived in San Francisco we stopped at the San Mateo Campus, and then headed on to the Walnut Creek Campus. To conclude our tour of Fusion Academy Campuses we drove back down to the Los Angeles area and our last stop was the Warner Center campus.
As excited as I was on that plane ride, I never could have anticipated how amazing of an experience it turned out to be. At every Fusion location we visited everyone we interacted with warmly welcomed us. As I sat through interviews and listened to parents talk about how incredible Fusion has been for their child, how having no homework has made their family much closer, and how their child finally loved going to school I was shocked at how life-changing Fusion Academy really is. The students we talked to were confident, sure of their futures, and excited to talk about their classes, teachers, and friends. The teachers loved their jobs and enjoyed the fact that they get to inspire students daily.
Every person we talked to had completely different reasons for arriving at Fusion, but they were all passionate about the amazing experiences they have had because of Fusion and they all had extremely touching stories about how Fusion Academy made all the difference. I was extremely touched by one mother who said that, “it has been very different for my daughter to make friends over the years because she has different interests that a lot of her peers…that has completely changed at Fusion. Seeing her have friends, real friends, for the first time; people who really understand her almost makes me want to cry.” I was incredible impressed with another student who was confident and sure enough of herself that she was able to talk about how a suicide attempt has caused her to arrive at Fusion Academy, and about how she now have plans for the future and is excited to be who she is. I also learned about some incredible talented students including one who is the CEO of his own company, and is also a talented acrobat.
I spent a week and a half at Fusion Schools, and I have to admit that I am fully convinced that they are the perfect solution for a world where kids can get lost in the crowd. I really do mean it when I say that Fusion Academy is a life changing experience for students, families, teachers, and also for me.