Testimonials & Alumni Updates

“Signing up for FCLA was an example of leadership in itself because I looked for uncommon opportunities. I saw a school that had the potential to not only teach me but coach me.”    
Katelyn Steinke, 2022 FCLA Graduate

“Through Fox Cities Leadership Academy… I have learned three vital skills that have shaped the person that I am today: critical thinking, adaptability, and problem-solving.”
Celaisha Pipes, 2022 FCLA Graduate

"FCLA has been an incredible learning environment where new, educational, and fun opportunities are presented often. The five-week seminar/workshop structure is the best learning environment for students to stay engaged in a topic.  Not only do the students learn more in-depth subjects, but they also get to choose what they want to learn. Students get to select three interdisciplinary classes every five weeks, all of which are considered rigorous on transcripts.

In these classes, students get hands-on learning where they develop 21st century and leadership skills. At FCLA, I’m able to build close relationships with teachers and students and engage in learning real-life scenarios that will prepare me for my future. I truly believe FCLA has helped prepare me for my future studies as well as my career and would recommend to anyone who wants to become a leader.” 
Emma DeBruin, 2021 FCLA Graduate

“The FCLA challenged me every day to not only seek out my interests, but to be confident in the abilities and talents I discovered.  Independent projects, where we got to choose our own topic of interest, provided the perfect opportunity to expand on something we love. While doing so, I was challenged to produce my best products and to be confident when sharing something I had a passion for.”

Alicia Ver Voort, FCLA Graduate Class of 2020

"I received extremely exciting news yesterday morning that I attained federal security clearance, and will be interning with the Department of State in the US Embassy of Ljubljana, Slovenia next semester! This will certainly be the pinnacle of my college career before I graduate this May, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of my last senior capstone project through ACA (this internship will also be a senior capstone of sorts). I owe you all sincere thanks for putting up with my hijinks for two years, but more importantly for providing an environment to really explore what interested me at that stage in my life.

Though I didn’t have a particularly coherent idea of where I wanted to go with my college career, I have no doubt the experience senior year running my civics class set the foundation for my future in political science. I know I’m just one example of many, many students shaping a future in what they want to be achieving through their ACA experience.  Please keep doing what you did so well during my time there."

FCLA/ACA Graduate, Class of 2013

“Just had an interview for a job… Thank God we had to make resumes in the ACA – seriously!”
MacKenzie Clemons, FCLA/ACA Class of 2012

“I would just like to say that I don’t think I could have made it through my first semester of college so easily without being in the ACA.” 
Torri Cheak, FCLA/ACA Class of 2012

“I may be getting another (better) job. I sent them my updated resume thanks to you... They then asked if I had any proof of the work that I have done. I showed them the portfolio that I made senior year. They were really surprised that I had a portfolio and that it included stuff I did at work. They were pleasantly impressed.”
Gordon Sennett, FCLA/ACA Class of 2012

“Our son Max started FCLA virtually in September 2020 as a freshman during the most unsettling time of his education thus far.  Despite the COVID-19 at home learning, FCLA engaged him immediately, and it was so gratifying to have him excitedly come to us at the end of the day to tell us about the seminars and workshops in which he was involved.  His enthusiasm has only been heightened with in person learning.  The integrated community of learning that FCLA provides is priceless in shaping his self-starting and leadership skills!”                     
Kara Harbick, FCLA Parent

“FCLA has been an amazing experience for our daughter. The FCLA staff is top-notch, extremely dedicated and very passionate about teaching. She has had so many relevant, real-world learning opportunities she would never have been able to experience in the traditional classroom.”
Julia Squier, FCLA Parent

“The Appleton Career Academy (ACA) prepared Hannah not only for admittance into UW-Stout but also for career preparedness opportunities throughout her four years in college and now as she applies for jobs as she graduates in May. I believe as a parent, and educator myself, that the leadership skills Hannah learned and applied while in the ACA gave her the confidence and know-how to set herself above her classmates in college. As a freshman in college, Hannah beat out upperclassmen for a Summer Internship on Hilton Head Island, as a sophomore she was the chairperson the University's fashion show, and as a Junior she was hired by The Buckle to be their Visual Merchandiser (this is a job that normally requires a BS degree).

Now as a senior and graduating in May, Hannah has started interviewing for her professional jobs. She has been told that her leadership skills definitely stand out and is in the second round of interviews for two very good positions. As Hannah's mom, I credit the ACA for providing her a great foundation and the ability to experience education through project-based learning while applying her newly learned skills to real world opportunities. I have no doubt that it was through the variety of learning opportunities Hannah was able to experience that she is confident to now successfully make her next step into the professional world.”

Rita O'Brien, Former FCLA/ACA Parent & Governance Board Member

"Just a quick report to you about how amazing your kids were yesterday at the mobile pantry. They worked hard from the moment they got to the event. We served just under 300 families of all sizes, shapes and compositions. Most of the pantry guests were patient and grateful---easy to talk with and assist. But as always, we have some guests that are too deeply buried under the weight of their lot, and appear bitter and grumbly. But your kids took all of this in stride---they were amazing.

Due to the cold, we lined all the waiting families up inside. When their number was called, they came outside to move through the food line. Your kids met them at the door, walking through the line and helping carry their load when it got too heavy. (Great metaphor, huh?) The pantry guests were so grateful to have this assistance. It was something great to see---young, healthy kids giving so much of themselves to help others who have fallen on hard times.

And they definitely represented FCLA well. They were extremely polite, worked very hard (without complaining), committed themselves to the task from beginning to end, and were very respectful to the wide range of personalities of the guests.

I couldn’t be more pleased, and can’t say enough. THANK YOU for connecting them to us."

Patti Habeck, Non-Profit Business Partner


Sydney Squier, FCLA Class of 2019, was in Madison for the summer, completing an internship with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigations. She plans to graduate from Monmouth University in Spring of 2022 with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology; she will continue her education at Monmouth and complete her MS in Criminal Justice the following Spring 2023.

Preston Pelishek, FCLA Class of 2019, completed an amazing internship this past summer.  He was an Internal Audit Intern at Carmeuse. (Carmeuse is a global manufacturer of lime and limestone products used in a variety of applications, which provide cleaner air, safer water and improved soil characteristics. Founded in 1860, Carmeuse is a privately-owned Belgian company evolving from a calcium-based mineral provider into a company that continues to add integrated services. Carmeuse and its subsidiaries offer equipment and engineering services to optimize our customers’ processes, improve safety, and provide reliable supply.) This summer, he focused on performing site audits, which included investigating key areas of our business such as finance, federal regulation compliance, and production costs (cost accounting). One of the most exciting aspects of his position was traveling across America to visit and audit several of our mines, quarries, and production facilities. In spring, Preston will graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has already begun a 4+1 MBA program, which he will complete in spring 2023. 

Marlo Gohla, Former FCLA/ACA Student 
“Hello ACA instructors, I found these articles in the local newspaper, “The Village Voice,” today and thought l would share them with you. l was so excited to hear of a charter school opening in the Hot Springs, Arkansas area!! ACA is way ahead of education across the USA (or Arkansas is just behind).

Just wanted to give you all a little update and really just say thank you. May 17th I will be graduating from National Park Community College with my Associate of Arts Degree (where did time go?!). I’ve taken 62 credits in 4 semesters and maintained a 3.7 GPA. YAY! I can happily say my first two years were completely paid for by muitiple scholarships* no debt! I joined the Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, and was awarded “The Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.” Also, I made Presidents’ List and Deans’ List each semester! I'll be transferring to the University of Arkansas located in Fayettville this fall.

Throughout my first four semesters of college, I’ve thought of each of you so many times! ACA really set the foundation for success for my future. From building my resume and portfolio to learning 21st Century Skills, I feel so much farther ahead than most people my age!

I miss you all and hope you are doing great. Keep doing what you’re doing because it really is life changing. I don’t think I could be where I'm at today without you believing in me, teaching me your knowledge, and encouraging me to do the best I can.

Marlo Gohla”