“It makes perfect sense for me to support FA in any way I can. FA selflessly took a risk on me and brought me to the United States from Slovakia, accepted me as a student, and truly molded me during my year in Falmouth.”
FA wasn’t the only one taking a “risk” back in 1992. When Jozef Scesnak ’93 accepted the invitation of then-headmaster Bruce Buxton to join the FA student body, he also took a giant leap of faith. He traveled to a foreign country, lived with a host family (Janet and Norbert Wood, whom Jozef praises as “extremely generous and kind”), and began an adventure that recently entered its 15th year.
Today Jozef is a development engineer for Teradyne, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of complex chip testers. He employs a mix of software and hardware electronics design knowledge to develop and test the integrated circuit boards that the company designs and manufactures. He credits FA with inspiring his college and career aspirations.
“Thanks to FA, my life’s prospects were dramatically bettered,” Jozef explained. “There were so many different activities I participated in at FA that I would otherwise not have experienced: athletics, Model UN, Ham radio, woodworking and sculpture classes. ...Thanks to my participation in the science fair, I managed to get a half scholarship to attend Suffolk University in Boston. I graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in international economics and electrical engineering.”
Now he’s thinking about the next big risk: returning to Slovakia to start his own business, perhaps a wind/solar energy plant. It’s just this kind of chance for which Jozef believes FA prepared him, and that’s why he continues to support FA today.
“I want FA’s work to continue so that others can benefit like I did,” he said. “So great is my confidence in Falmouth Academy that I regard my financial support of it as a risk-free investment. You just can’t go wrong with that.”
Kristin Jochems ’05 is building a career in giving back.
As a Falmouth Academy class agent, she gives back to her alma mater by reaching out to classmates and helping them understand the nature of philanthropy. As a Wellesley College student, the math major volunteers as a resident assistant, a first-year orientation organizer and a member of the Air Force ROTC. And in the future, after earning a bachelor’s degree at Wellesley and serving as an officer in the Air Force for four years, she hopes to serve her country as a member of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“I think it’s important to make a difference,” Jochems says. “Service to others sparks a passion in me.
“Falmouth Academy brought me out of my shell, and I owe so much to FA for what I’ve become. My teachers were incredible—they’re the kind of people with whom I want lifelong connections—and I want to give back so that others can have the opportunities I had. So I give what I can to the Annual Fund, even though, as a college student, I still have to scrape together enough money for a pizza on a Friday night. It’s important just to give, because giving tells the world that we support FA.”
Jochems helps out in other ways, too, such as judging the FA Science Fair or answering the questions of current students: “Whether it’s through the Annual Fund or through direct connection with students, I like that I can have an impact on the education of today’s students.”