Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Growing up Crenshaw
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Sentinel Religion Editor
Published September 12, 2012


Miles Fossett with his equestrian award                                                        

Fossett with his horse

Growing up in the West Adams District in Los Angeles, 18-year-old Miles David Fossett could have remained bounded by Crenshaw and Western. But thanks to loving parents who exposed him to the world beyond, he’s traveled throughout this nation and abroad.

Now, the 2012 graduate of The Thatcher School in Ojai is continuing his education on a major scholarship to Tufts University in Medford, MA. His biggest supporters continue to be his father and mother, David and Gwen Fossett, who instilled in him faith and confidence to succeed.

“My parents are excited and my dad’s really proud that I’m going to Tufts University,” said Miles.

He received his early education at the Cecil L. Murray Education Center and Kipp Academy of Opportunity, both in South Los Angeles. While at Kipp, Miles traveled to Utah and Costa Rico as well as heard about a boarding school located in the mountains north of LA.

“Mr. Ben Farrell (a Thatcher representative) came and told us about the school and it sounded outstanding, like a dream,” recalled Miles, who decided he wanted to go, especially because he’d have his own horse.

“I grew up in an apartment and was never allowed to have pets. So, I thought it would be kind of cool, my first pet would be a horse.

“My parents were not sold on that idea in the beginning. But eventually, they really thought about what Thatcher offered and how much it could give me, so they let me go,” said Miles.

While at Thatcher, he visited New York, Northern California, and Arizona. Also, he traveled with his peers from across the nation to Guatemala to do a community service project.

“We worked in the fields of a small town that was still feeling the effects of a civil war where most of the men in their village were killed. So, we helped build a schoolhouse and plant crops for the coming winter season.

“That was a great experience. I also got a lot better in Spanish because I didn’t know anything at first. It was awesome!”

In addition, Miles excelled in Thatcher’s tough academic curriculum and, of course, the horse made it all worthwhile. In fact, this year he was honored as the school’s top horseman.

“It was definitely a challenge learning to ride and care for a horse, but I loved it,” he recalled, adding that he picked up a few life lessons as well.

“I learned that you’re not always going to be in control and to live with what’s going on from day to day. Some days, you’re not feeling great and some days, your horse may not want to do anything. You can’t just get frustrated. You just have to keep living and everyday, you got to work hard at it.”

Miles intends to apply those lessons while studying social and behavioral psychology at Tufts. “It’s the study of why people do what they do and how people act in different situations.”

When asked about future use of such knowledge, he replied, “I can apply that degree to a lot of fields. I’ll have the knowledge of how people work and how to work with people. I’ll actually understand people, know how to be a team player, how to be what the situation needs, and how to be a positive influence in the workplace.”

As for advice to other college-bound students, Miles shared, “If you have a goal, chase it. The world’s there for people that have initiative. You can never fail, because you gave it a fair shot.”


Categories: Crenshaw & Around

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