Rizzolo-Larson Venture Grant

The annual Rizzolo-Larson Venture Grant offers up to $5,000 in funding to benefit Cheshire Academy students as they carry out innovative projects of high merit that are unique, exciting and demonstrate “outside the box” classroom learning. Students must write proposals and apply to the Venture Grant committee. Financial support is awarded to select students in order to enhance their educational experiences beyond the boundaries of the Academy. Recipients must work on their projects during the summer months and present their experiences in the fall through an all-school presentation and lecture to student groups and department seminars.


Venture Grants were created to provide opportunities for enrichment outside of the confines of existing curricula and yet within the educational philosophy of Cheshire Academy. The Venture Grant Advisory Committee helps students carry out innovative projects of high merit which benefit the individual applicant and the Cheshire Academy community.
To apply please read the application instructions and regulations carefully. Please submit your application online and your supporting materials to Mr. James Rogers at james.rogers@cheshireacademy.org.

Your application must include:

1. A 250-500 word typewritten description of your intended project including:

  • The relationship to your academic program and/or general educational interests
  • What personal growth you hope to gain from participating in this experience
  • How you intend to share your experience with the Cheshire Academy community in the Fall


2. A detailed budget showing how the requested funds will be used. You should prepare an itemized list that includes expenditures for:

  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Registration fees
  • Expenses


3. The name of one current faculty member who has agreed to serve as your advisor in this project.

2018 Venture Grant Recipients

21 Day Sailing Voyage from Portugal to Norway

Kamila Zygadlo ’19 flew from Poland to Portugal in August 2018 and then departed for her 21-day sailing voyage which ended in Norway. Zygadlo sailed on small vessels growing up, but sailing on a large ship was a dream of hers for a long time, she said. Zygadlo, along with about 60 others, sailed on a barque, a ship with three or more masts, for more than 2,400 miles. Zygadlo saw dolphins, swam in the Norwegian Fjords and saw planets at night from different views. “It was inspiring,” she said. “I learned so much. I met people from all different backgrounds. I overcame my fear of heights. It was a chance to reflect on life and learn about myself. It was a real adventure.” Zygadlo learned new sailing skills. She also helped steer and navigate the ship and worked in the kitchen.

Perform at the Sydney Opera House in Australia

Jameson Hardy ’19 performed at the iconic Sydney Opera House in July. Hardy was among 250 high school students from around the world selected for the Honors Performance Series music event (More than 1,200 applied). The grant funded Hardy’s trip.

“It was surreal,” Hardy said. “You’re just kind of in awe. It’s an honor to say that I performed there. I’m thankful for the opportunities the Rizzolo-Larson Venture Grant provides to students like myself. It allows students to pursue things they’re really passionate about.”

Hardy also got a chance to tour Sydney, Australia, visit Bondi Beach and the Blue Mountains.

National Youth Leadership Forum: Medicine Envision Experience

Cassidy Vinal ’19 attended the National Youth Leadership Forum: Medicine – Envision Experience in Atlanta, Georgia. She visited different medical schools, learned about various medical careers and medical techniques.She also got a chance to work through an emergency room simulation and connect with world-renowned doctors and surgeons. “The experience opened a broad interest in the medical field for me,” Vinal said. “I wouldn’t have been able to go without a venture grant. I developed friendships and an interest in the field of medicine.” The Cheshire Academy science department nominated Vinal for the program. She attended with about 500 students from around the world.

Walden School's Young Musicians Program

Grace Sun ’19 used her grant to attend the prestigious Walden School’s Young Musicians Program. The intensive five-week program held in Dublin, New Hampshire accepted just 50 students from around the world and focused on music composition. Sun took a specialty class on film scoring, something she has quickly grown to love.

Sun learned many new techniques and concepts, sang in chorus, composed music and enjoyed hiking Mount Monadnock.

“I’m very thankful for this experience,” Sun said. “My passion for music grew even more.”

Sun plans to study Music for New Media at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.