Spring 2014

Argo (63 of 65)

Our school field trip to the Argo Gold Mine.


As kids anything around us influenced they way we think or act.  We tried to be just like the people we saw on the big screen.  Every little girl wanted to be princess who got saved by the prince and every boy wanted to be some superhero.  As a kid, I was hopeful and no idea or dream was out of reach. That’s what I loved most about movies: each one taught us how to be kind, how to be understanding, and how to follow our dreams.  Movies like Aladdin, Dumbo, Toy Story, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and Ratatouille showed characters struggles and how they over came them.  I think its great to show kids that everyone makes mistakes and has a hard time when following there dreams. How could you not fall in love with these movies?
Most adults don’t see the effect a movie and a proper story line could have on a kid’s thinking. Just look at Dr. Seuss: he got all kinds of kids to want to eat green eggs and ham.  The Lorax got kids thinking about saving our planet’s trees and wildlife.  That’s why I love these movies: they inspire young minds.  -Codi K.

Out of all the movies I have seen, the one that touched me the most was a movie called “Radio.” It makes you open your eyes and think about the way you treat other people. Radio was a young African-American man who carried a mental disability. In the beginning of the movie, Radio was bullied by the football players for something he himself had no control over. As I watched that take place I felt the feeling of sympathy and I really wanted to help. However, the movie does take a turn for the better when he becomes the school mascot. Radio becomes known throughout the town and loved by many.
Every day when I see someone with like disabilities, I show sympathy and I’m a lot more considerate of my actions and words. I realize that disabled people are equal to those who aren’t disabled. I feel like they shouldn’t have to ashamed of who they are; the people who are bullies should be ashamed of themselves. Whenever I see something taking place that is a similar situation to Radio’s, I automatically feel that I should jump in and help that person.
With this being said, make sure you are cautious of your actions to other people because they didn’t ask to be born that way.  Remember that people with disabilities have a lot more challenges than us so why make their life harder?  -Jasmine F.


Summer is the time of year that everyone looks forward to the most because of summer break.  Two and a half months without school is amazing!  For seniors, summer is the end of our high school career.  When graduation comes we are on our own with college, work, and just the responsibilities of being an adult.  Not only do we have summer break, but we now have our whole life.  Some seniors don’t look forward to it because as it gets closer some of us realize that we aren’t as ready as we thought we were.  We start to get nervous because now everything is up to us.
For me I have looked forward to graduation for years.  Now that I am hopefully only a couple days away, I think about it and part of me doesn’t want to graduate.  Not because I’ll be on my own; that isn’t a problem for me.  A lot of it actually has to do with the fact that no one is going to see it, so I’m not as excited as I used to be for it to happen.  My father died my junior year, and my biological father won’t come because my mom is with someone else. My grandmother, aunt, and uncle, the people that watched me grow up won’t be able to see it because I am across the country. The only people that are going to see it are my mom and my boyfriend.  That’s all you need right?  But it’s not: my mom wasn’t there; she hasn’t been in my life for 10 years, so the fact that she gets to see me graduate and not the people that raised me makes me not want to graduate. The people who raised me can’t see it, but I should do it for me. It is something that should make me proud because I completed high school.  I made it through the four years and it shows that I can actually do something with my life. Walking to graduation and getting that certificate shows that you actually did something for yourself, and that is all you need. No one could come to your graduation, but as long as you are proud of yourself that is all that should matter.  Nothing else should take this away from you.  -Taylor M.

There are a lot of fears that come along with graduation.  Yes it is a very big step in your life.  I have worked very hard to get to this point and now I am scared.. I now have to grow up.  I am more scared about everything that comes with leaving.  These have been some of the hardest years of my life and now I don’t know what is going to happen.  The overall fear is the fear of the unknown.  I don’t really like changes and now is the time that a lot of changes take place.  I don’t know what to expect from the next chapter in my life.  I know that every one says you will love it you will be happy! I don’t really feel that way.  I am at a point now that I am just in awe.  I don’t know how to feel.  Don’t get me wrong; I am very happy that I have made it through high school and that I can say I did it, but it is going to be hard to be done.  It is starting to sink in and I don’t know if I like it . I go from being happy to being sad because something reminded me about something that happened. I am glad and thankful for all of the people that have stood next to me and helped me get to the point I am at now! -Alea M.

I’m sure a lot of people are excited to begin their summer break; everyone is planning to have a party or even a graduation party.  I, on the other hand, am not excited at all to begin summer break. I know I have no chance of graduating on time with my classes. I know I will be in summer school again and beginning the school year once again.
I am disappointed in myself, but I can’t let it take over my life. I am not going to graduate in 2014 with all of my friends.  I don’t even want summer to come because I realize how much of my time I have let slip over and over again.  I keep replaying in my mind how I will not be going to my friend’s parties to keep myself away from everyone.  I have already been asked if I would just go ahead and get my GED so I don’t have to keep going to high school.  I feel like I won’t do that only because of how far I already am in school.  It’s strange that I’m not worried about the sun burning me, my swim suit being too small, or the fights I will probably get into.
To be honest, the only thing I’m excited about for summer is getting to see my aunt. Besides that, can only see summer screwing with me and making me hot and uncomfortable.
I guess we can assume that summer and I this year will just be Tom and Jerry.  -Ashley S.

10 Years From Now…

10 years from now I’m hoping that I will have graduated college with a master’s in computer science and working for a company that produces films or video games.  I’ll probably be married to Katy Perry and we’ll have like three kids. Me and Kate (she prefers me to call her that) will be living in Seattle since I love Microsoft and she loves the weather.  By the time I’m 27 I will have invented the first virtual reality game in which you can live out your greatest fantasies in any universe imaginable.  I’ll still pretty much be the same person except I’ll be 6’5″ with washboard abs.  To get to that point will take a lot of work, but nothing is impossible.  I hope every day I can someday make this a reality.  I have already started emailing Kate our wedding info so it won’t be long now till she gets back to me.  I do like twenty crunches a day so I’m already pretty swollen.  But in all seriousness, a good life isn’t just handed to you and no matter how ridiculous your goals in life may be, nothing is impossible.  So work hard and strive to achieve your goals no matter how silly or crazy they are because your life is what you make of it.  -Alex V.

In 10 years, I envision myself as happy and hopefully successful. I hope that ten years from now I’ll have my own home, a successful business, and a nice small family. I don’t plan on getting married or having kids, but I do plan on having a pet as well as a person to spend my life and share my love with. I would like to create a successful business in either health care, handmade fashion, cleaning and restoration services, or all three.
I can see myself living somewhere in Denver or the mountains, in a nice little cottage-type house with a big yard. I’m obviously not going get there by doing nothing; I am going to have to work really hard for my ideal future. I plan on getting a business degree, starting my own business or businesses and stay completely motivated for the next ten years. But it’s like I always say: hard work and dedication will pay off in the end.
I can also see myself accomplishing my dreams of travel, adventure, new friendships, and a healthier mindset. In ten years, I will be far from the person that I am today.  I will have grown, made mistakes, learned from them, and have completely different views and tastes on everything.  I’m hoping to improve myself rather than lose myself, and I plan on doing this with faith and personal growth.  I can see myself living a nice, leisurely lifestyle, with family, happiness, and music close to my heart. What will be important to me in 10 years, you ask? to simply be HAPPY.  -Emma R.

10 years from now, I will be in my 20′s.  I see myself being a lawyer, and to get to that point I would have to go to law school and a few years in college. I will have to work hard to get up to that point, and I will not give up.  I do see myself being married and maybe having two kids.  I don’t think that I will rush into a marriage or kids; I would take my time and make sure that the one I am with is the one that I want to have kids with and marry.  When I choose to have kids, I don’t want to be too young or too old when I have them.  I want a boy and a girl, and I want to be around 25-30 when I have them.  I plan on living in Orlando, Florida because when I went there for vacation I fell in love with it.  I love the weather and the environment. I don’t really know what all of it is like because I was in a small area of Orlando, but it is just so beautiful.
I see myself having a good job, and having an amazing family. I will have hopefully accomplished a lot of my goals. I think that the the most important thing in my life would be my family. I say this because growing up I didn’t really have my mom, so being there for my future children would be something that I would love to do.  Just being a good wife and mother is something that is going to be important to me. I do not at all think that I will be the same person that I am today for many reasons.  One of them being that I have made some mistakes in life, and I am still learning how to deal with my problems and let go of my past.  So 10 years from now, I see myself being a loving mother of two and a wife.  Because of my life goals, and the way that I am planning to live life in the future, I will have a good life.  -Monique G.

Ten years ago I would have been able to describe my future perfectly. Aside from hover boards, flying cars and being a pretty pretty princess, I wanted to live in a huge mansion with ten kids, a maid for each one, and a rich husband who provided everything for the family. My bar was set high; little did I know life happened in between.
I’m eighteen, as much as I act like I know everything, there is much more for me to learn. Through trial and error, I continue to learn each and every day. I’ve made mistakes and will continue to do so throughout my life.  Lets be quite honest; I don’t know what I’m eating for dinner tonight let alone what my future will hold. But if I had to describe perfection, I see a small blue house surrounded by a white fence my perfectly imperfect husband chasing our one son around the yard. If all I have in life is my family, I will be living like a queen.
No, I do not know what the future holds for me, all I know is I want my family by my side the entire ride. Through thick and thin my family will always be my rock and my reason to keep pushing forward. For whatever my future holds, bring it on.  -Cassidy C.

Music booms out of very large speakers, which stand at a reasonable distance from the crystal clear waters me and close family and friends splash and jump around in.
“Does anyone else feel like they can’t hear the music clearly?” My boyfriend (whom I consider family) announces. Without a word, my little sister, who is not-so-little anymore, hops out of the water and dries off her hands before turning the volume up.
The music is booming even louder now. It’s almost midnight, but no one worries. We’re in my backyard, playing in my pool, listening to my speakers, and not to mention all my neighbors are either in my backyard, or too far away to be bothered.
“It’s getting late,” I say. “I should go to sleep, I have work in the morning.” I have already stayed up way past my bedtime considering that I need to wake up at 4am the next morning to make it to the hospital.
“Lame!” my sister teases but assures me she’ll turn down the music and walk all our close friends out when she decides to go to sleep. My sister lives less than a few blocks away, but is at my house most of the time for the pool and the company. She decided to spend the night tonight.
I say goodnight and head inside to make a midnight snack before bed. My boyfriend comes with and ends up making the snack for me as well as one for himself and the rest of our friends. Although we are close we have different rooms (so that we can keep our space and sanity), he tells me he’ll see me after work  and returns to the backyard.
I pass the 50 inch flat screen in the living room which my tabby cat almost seems to be watching animal planet on, then My boyfriends room, which is full of video games and his German Shepard whom sleeps silently on his bed. I reach my room which is full of stuffed animals, movies, video games, posters, and cat toys. A blanket of comfortableness falls over me as I smell the candles I had lit earlier that day. I jump into PJ’s and prepare for bed by putting Harry Potter on my 60 inch flat screen TV and feeding my cat.
I drift off into sleep remembering how all of this was just a dream for me 10 years ago. At 15, I was determined to make this dream come true. I began planning my future and taking college classes Jr. year. It took a huge amount of determination and focus, but I got my masters degree by the time I was 23 and found a job soon after. Now I work hard as a pediatrician, have a pool, a gigantic house with a library and many flat screens, I have two fluffy cats, a loving boyfriend, and my sister and I are as close as I always thought we’d be. I worked hard to get where I am, and I am proud of myself.
However, I have more plans. Me and my boyfriend will soon be married and have children. Eventually I will quit my job as a pediatrician and open a business with my boyfriend and my sister. I have already taken business classes and went to culinary school and I’ve been saving up to make this possible. This is a dream that me and my sister have had for more than 10 years and we will make it come true.
My cat curls up beside me and both of us drift into a deep sleep.
This is my life 10 years from now. I will be 26 years old, work as a pediatrician, be super close with my boyfriend and my sister, have a pool in my backyard, 2 cats, and a gigantic flat screen TV in my room. I will never stop working to make my dreams come true. But most of all, I will be happy. I will be the same person I am today just with a little more experience and knowledge; I will love cats, swimming, music, and always Harry Potter.  -Alyssa P.


March 2014


Valentine’s Day

Valentines’s Day is the most exciting and wonderful holiday.  I don’t feel that it is only about couples; to me it is about spreading out the love, spending time with the ones you love, and caring about family and friends. During the good old days in elementary school, the love spread out through the school by classrooms having Valentine’s Day parties and passing out valentine cards. During those Valentine’s Days when we were little, no one felt left out or alone because everyone would get something.  Now that we are older we think that Valentine’s Day is all about couples that are in love.  It doesn’t matter to me because every year I get excited for Valentine’s Day. This Valentine’s Day I spent with my boyfriend and my son, and for the first time I got balloons and five pounds of chocolate! This day is just amazing! Valentine’s Day is not about only love; it’s about being together and people showing their love and care.   -Melissa


As an eighteen year-old girl, I am all for celebrating and sharing time with the people I love most, but Valentine’s Day has become a commercialized day for teens to spend their parents’ money on someone they won’t even speak to next year. I feel as if love should be expressed 365 days a year, not just one.  Now I am young; I have enough experience to not make the same mistakes twice, but I’m not experienced enough to not fall into a situation I’ve never been in before. Unlike most people of my age, I have experienced a love that will last a lifetime. The day I became a mom was the day I knew what love really was. Not only do I love my son with all of my being, but his father will forever have my heart for blessing me with the amazing gift of life.

Valentine’s Day should be celebrated, but not in the ways our generation celebrates it. We have Instagram wars of whose boyfriend is better because they spent the most money, and spend too much time worrying about what we are going to get our loved one instead of spending that precious time together.  The holiday is not about gifts and glamor, it is about love, PERIOD.  My little family didn’t get to spend all of Valentine’s Day together, but we ate dinner, watched a movie and cuddled until it was time for bed.  However, that will not be the only night we do that.  Our family is based on pure love, so spending the nights we can together is important to us and we take advantage of it. Our generation may celebrate the holiday as a competition, but I refuse to fall into the ways of the world.  I will continue to celebrate Valentine’s Day as it should be done, and as a result, my love for the holiday will never fade.   -Cassidy


Valentine’s Day is the most loved the day or the most hated: it just depends on who you are. To be honest, Valentine’s Day is just another day to me. I mean if you love someone every day, why only show them on Valentine’s Day?  My favorite part about Valentine’s Day is when all of that candy goes on sale the next day! For some reason Valentine’s Day and Easter have the best candy!  This is when the Reese’s are the biggest, and you all know that Reese’s are the best candy on the planet. I don’t personally see anything wrong with Valentine’s Day; I think it is a great holiday. It is a day that a woman (when she has someone to share it with) looks forward to.  My boyfriend and I celebrate our day, but my friends and I also celebrate. I mean it isn’t just about your other half: it could be your friends and everyone else too.

One thing that bothers me about Valentine’s Day is when you have girls out there who are complaining because they don’t have a guy to spend it with. You don’t have to spend it with a guy; you can spend it with friend’s family or anyone you love. It doesn’t have to be a significant other, and that is what people get confused.  They think they can only spend it with that other person, but that isn’t true.  Every year, my grandma buys me something for Valentine’s Day; she isn’t my boyfriend, but she loves me and she wants to show that to me.  That is the point of Valentine’s Day: to share it with the ones that you love.  However, you should not do that only one day of the year! When you love someone, show them as much as possible because you never know when it will be the last time you get to show them.  I asked my teacher if he liked Valentine’s Day and he said he loved it because he can be a giver.  I doubt the only person he gives to is his other half; he gives to his children and family because he loves them. So the next time you are waiting for Valentine’s Day, don’t be upset if you don’t have a boyfriend, or girlfriend.  Be happy because even if you do not have that other guy, you have your friends and family.  At the end of the day, they turn out to be way more important than a one time Valentine.  Don’t just use that one day to let everyone know, use any chance you get let them know. It doesn’t take much to say I love you or to give someone a hug, and trust me, when you do, it you will feel a billion times better and so will they.   -Taylor

Knowledge and School

 It seems that teens can’t focus on what’s important; most of them look for easy entertainment. Instead of focusing on things like television or social networks, they should try to be more productive, like finding healthy hobbies, focusing on school, and building good relationships with their parents.  At only eighteen years of age, I am able to understand far more complex things than a usual teen. I see that many people around my age don’t relate to me when it comes to ideas and understanding of life.  If teens would focus more on reading about important topics, and trying to understand history, politics, ethics, morals and present circumstances, they would develop a better understanding of life. These aspects would help them mature into better persons and have more sympathy for one another.  Knowledge is the only good we humans posses. If teens remain ignorant to what has happened and what is yet to come, then there will be no progress. It is a priority to empower ourselves with knowledge in order to provide a better, more peaceful earth for our next generations. The world will continue to suffer until we don’t learn to make better decisions.  -Carlos


100 years ago, neither woman nor African Americans were allowed to receive education, and white people who were allowed to were required to pay for it.  This meant many people were very poorly skilled and had very little knowledge. Today, children from the ages 5 to15 are required to attend school. They are required to get their education, unlike those people 100 years ago that grew up with no knowledge to make correct decisions. However, many children take this opportunity for granted and if given the chance, they would choose not to go to school. There are many excuses: school is boring, you need to wake up early, the teachers are mean, or the lunch is awful.  But the fact is: no matter how schools teach you, they are teaching you.  If you are making a choice on whether you want to attend school or not, it is the same choice of being smart or dumb.

I agree: traditional school can be a pain in the.. rectum.  First of all, you are required to wake up at the crack of dawn and go sit in a desk and listen to a teacher talk for the next 8 hours of your life.  Studies even show that children’s brains do not fully wake up until about 9 a.m! Then at lunch (in most schools), you are given leftovers again and again until they run out and decide to make some stale food they were originally supposed to make the day after you were first served those “leftovers.”  Not to mention the milk is either expired or a few days from being expired.  Then there are those terrible teachers.  Schools continue hire teachers based only off of their knowledge; they should be hiring them off of personality and wittiness, how efficiently they can interact and relate to their students, as well as on their knowledge. Most teachers expect a student to agree and do everything that is asked of them without question.  Not only are they extremely boring but they lack understanding of their students. This is especially an issue because students are not told why they should go to school in the first place, only that it is required and it will help them be successful. As children, do we even know what being successful is?  So, yes I understand. I agree. School sucks. However, no matter if you know or not, your teachers are teaching you, they are making you smarter, and that’s what school does.

Although school may have many flaws, there are a few good things that are left unnoticed. When I was little, I loved school simply because that is how I made friends. Yes, it sucks waking up early and having to make it to your classes on time, but that is preparing you to make it to your job on time. Teachers can suck, but, most likely, so will your boss. Lunch sucks, but no one notices that many schools have vending machines full of chips and Vitamin Water (which is way better than milk and leftovers). Also, there are extra curricular classes that you choose.  School gives you social skills, time management skills, skills to help you deal with a horrible boss, and many more skills that go unnoticed.  Yes, I agree that schools may not teach students the right way. However whether they teach the right way or the wrong way, in the end school is educating you. Your teachers, believe it or not, are there to help you. School gives you a chance to be smart enough to make good decisions and opinions and learn skills that will help you to maintain a career later in life.  School helps you to be successful: successful by making money and hopefully being happy.  -Alyssa


When school would come back from summer I would always put on my hard hat and attempt to keep a positive attitude about the experience, yet that never lasted. I always seemed to have this problem; a problem where I would end up giving up half way through the year.  I would believe that I had done my part in school yet I would end up not going. I am fully aware people have expectations for kids and when they are in high school their senior year: they are expected to go out into the world and decide where their path is heading. Somehow we are expected to leave high school and learn how to pay bills, make a living, hold a job, and raise kids. The idea of choosing what you are going to do for a living in a year is just… stupid.  Plain, rusty ol’ stupid.  When you are going through the school system, you are taking the same old classes until high school.  Though high school allows you to choose what you want to take it’s not something that will benefit you.  Yes, if you enjoy photography you can decide you want to be a photographer.  The same goes with many other classes, but the whole idea of those things being what you want to do for a living is a fraud. People change throughout their lives, losing interest and gaining new ones. I have never seemed to rap my head around why school doesn’t teach you about the real life situations you will be facing.  School doesn’t teach you the following: how to be a parent, how to raise children, how to pay bills (mortgages, health insurance, life insurance, electricity etc.), how to do well in interviews for jobs, how to fix your car when it breaks down, how to pick the right home, how to do taxes or if you should have someone do them for you or do them yourself, how to vote for the right candidate (or simply how to make wise decisions), how to get a loan for collage, how to use money wisely, and how to make sure you aren’t being ‘screwed’ in job.  There are so many things we are just assumed to know when we go into college.

I asked myself for years why teachers don’t just teach us these things, the things that will better our lives.  I finally came to the conclusion that schools are too concerned about what ranking the school is in the state or in the country. It is STUPID. When I was younger my mother never even wanted me to take CCAP or TCAP.  She said, “I want you to focus on your grades, those tests are for the schools ranking, not for your grade”.   Do teachers really care about how students will thrive after school? Are they concerned about if we know the proper tools?  Or do they care about their pay grade and if they have the highest grades in the school?  It makes me wonder if the teachers really care about students, if they hope for the best for kids who have to become adults when their 18th birthday smacks them or if they just hope to get the year over with cashing their check.

Though many people will say, “Teachers care!” If they did, they would make their lessons about real life scenarios. They should help the sad kid who doesn’t show up to school because bullies are scaring him.  They shouldn’t taunt kids by what they don’t know, but lift them up for what they do do, and they should never give up on a kid or try to kick him out of school so their school rating doesn’t drop.  If teachers care, they will be sure their students are the brightest strongest people out there, and be determined to help even if the kids don’t want to. That should be their prize: knowing they have made hundreds of skilled strong warriors for the world to watch.  -Ashley


I love school! It prepares me for the real world and gives me skills for when I want to work at a business.  I am an online student who also goes to a technical college to be an ASE certified mechanic. I enjoy logging into my online school to do my work because it’s at my own pace, and I feel like I have more help/support from teachers.  It’s good for me because there is technology (computer, tablet, phone) that helps me learn by listening and seeing material.  I don’t have to worry about other students distracting me from my work, even though in the real world there will be distractions, challenges, and difficult people.

Normal public schools are okay, but I’d rather continue my schooling online. It was so difficult for me to focus in regular school.  When I would be on my way to my next class, it would be heavily crowded and many of my peers were in my way.  It took forever to move.  It’s like most of them didn’t even care if they made it to class on time or not.  Many of them were just talking with others or playing around.  When I would finally make it to class, I’d be distracted by some disrespectful kids talking back to the teacher or just being loud. This made it harder for me to focus, but I still got my work done.   Then, to add the cherry on top, I’d get picked on because I was quiet and trying to get my work done.  There were so many haters!  I guess misery likes company.  After three years of high school, I finally went to a online school to get caught up and feel more comfortable.  I was tired of threats in school and just seeing kids go wild as if it was a zoo!  Now I’m getting an education without distractions and I’m also attending a vocational education program.  I’m just pretty happy that this year of school is more peaceful and easier to understand!  -Brianna

APS Awards3 (35 of 16)

A New Hope

APS Online has been a life saver for so many students, whether they have had a kid or they just did not do well in regular school.  This school is a blended model.  You can work from home, but you also have to go in twice a week.  There are a lot of students here that have had a lot of success here. I am one of those students.

I was going to a high school that I loved. I had friends and I loved my teachers, but then the worst possible thing happened: I got an MRSA infection and I was rushed into emergency surgery.  I was in the hospital for a week.  They sent me home, and then 3 days later I had a fever of 105.5 and was rushed back to the hospital.  They took me into the ICU and put me under freezing cold water and ice packs. They needed to do surgery again, but I was not stable enough to go under.  After three days they finally got my  temperature down enough to make it through another surgery.  This time I was hospitalized for three weeks.  When I went back to school they told me that I had already missed too much school, and in the state of Colorado there is a law saying they had to fail me for that quarter.  I was lost and did not know what I was going to do. I had done all of the work and kept my grades up, but because of the law I was now going to be behind in everything.  They told me that it would probably a good idea if I found another school.

APS Online had just opened on the same campus and they were willing to work with me to get me back on track to graduate.  I went through a lot more medical challenges.  I was on IVs medication, I had a PIC line in and a vacuum on.  The school worked with me when I was in the hospital, and they did much more for me.  I decided I wanted to go into the health care field and they helped me start my college while still in high school; that’s something I probably could not do if I was at a regular high school.  I am happy to say that this year I will be graduating on time! I have overcome so many challenges and with out APS online I don’t honestly think that I would even be graduating.  -Alea


It’s amazing that something so simple, like changing schools, can impact and benefit a persons life.  Before I came to APS Online, things were a mess for me.  I was failing with my education and doing absolutely nothing with my life.  After a while I got sick of it and had to figure out some way to improve my life and education.  I looked into many different schools; I had already been to two different high schools, and one of them I went to twice.  I was mainly looking into some alternative schools, and that’s when I cam across APS online.  Many people I spoke to told me that online school is boring, and you just sit at home all day on a computer, but I decided to check it anyway.  I saw the opportunities this school offered and immediately tried to get enrolled.

Once I got enrolled at APS Online, my life completely changed.  I started to get straight A’s, which had never happened before.  I began going to work with my dad to save money.  I also started to buy all my own clothes, school supplies, accessories, and any other necessities I needed.  I learned how to become responsible, I got my drivers license, bought my own car, enrolled myself in several college classes, and have dedicated myself to getting caught up on credits and graduating.  I have never improved my life this much in this small amount of time. I t simply amazes me looking back on who I was three years ago; I’m completely different now.   I can’t thank APS Online enough for everything it’s offered and done for me.  I would probably be a dropout right now if I didn’t enroll at this school.  It’s not just me either; I see so many people who were going to give up, but didn’t because they were given the opportunity to finish what they started: they stayed in school and graduated.  I have never been more pleased with a school, I am actually proud to say I go to school at APS Online.  I see what it has done for me and many others and it makes me happy to see that there are so many people who have graduated and accomplished so many great things all because of APS Online.  I honestly wish there were schools like this everywhere so more people can get the opportunities and environment we do.  Someday I’m sure there will be.  -Emma

High school for me was amazing at first, but soon it all went downhill. I had to deal with an unhealthy relationship that I was afraid to get out of, girls wanting to jump me because of who I was dating, and not having many friends.  It doesn’t sound bad, but we all handle things differently than others and for me, it was a war that I couldn’t win.  I knew I wasn’t going to unless I did something about it and tried to fight for myself to prove that those girls and other people were wrong about me.  I was afraid to fight for myself and prove them wrong, so eventually it led to something that I am not at all proud of.

I loved the high school experience at first; it was fun and amazing.  I had friends and I wasn’t getting into any trouble.  The teachers were okay and the work was not that hard.  It was everything that my parents said it was going to be.  I was getting good grades, hanging out with the cool girls, and everyone knew me.  I was having fun and wanted to go to school every morning.  I didn’t really care about how I looked, or what others thought of me.  Some days I went to school in sweat pants and a t-shirt with no makeup, and no one talked crap about me.  Other days I got all dolled up and pretty.  I got along with just about everyone and I was doing great. I eventually even had an amazing boyfriend and everything was perfect.

It all started to go downhill as soon as everyone knew that I was dating this boy.  Everyone got into our business, and people told me that he was cheating on me.  He and I were arguing a lot and he made me seem like the bad guy.  He told lies about me and he was such a good liar a lot of people believed him. Rumors about me went around and it wasn’t helping the fact that I was already depressed and going through a lot.  He and I were on and off for a while and that is mostly because he was self harming and threatening to commit suicide.  I was holding back feelings and wasn’t talking to anyone about it and it was not at all healthy for me.  I went through a lot of similar issues,  but I began to see a therapist and that helped.   The scars will be there forever, but the memory of what it taught me will always be a reminder of how strong I am. When I got back to school nothing changed: it only got worse for me.  The girls that were friends with with my boyfriend wanted to jump me.  I couldn’t take the bus anymore because that’s where they were going to do it.  I no longer wanted to go to school anymore and I was always in the office crying and calling my dad to come and pick me up.  That’s when I became an online learner here at APS Online High School.

I did not have many friends after everything that happened, but that taught me how to be a better person and to not trust many people.  I am a better person today and I am more focused on school than I have ever been. School for me is amazing now and I am happy to be an online learner.  Although high school was a bad experience for me, I am better off because I had the option to become an online learner.  -Monique


APS Online High School has a mission to provide each student within the system a safe environment, knowledge, skills and values needed to learn effectively.  Thanks to APSOL, students such as DJ are given the opportunity to not only succeed inside the classroom, but to also be successful and strive for greatness outside the classroom.  Students that are not enrolled at an online high school believe that it is easier to be a successful student in an online school because it does not take as much effort to meet the school’s expectations and it is not as big of a challenge to focus on the education.  DJ (a senior at APS Online High School) strongly argues against this by saying that in order to succeed as a student you need to have teachers that want to see you succeed.   The student also has to be self-motivated and disciplined in order to focus on their education as well as recognize what their priorities are so they are capable of maintaining an efficient and well balanced schedule.

DJ struggled in high school because his regular school schedule interfered with his extra curricular activities and his job.   This made it almost impossible to be successful with either one.  DJ has now been boxing for six years now and is proud to say that he has finally earned his golden gloves thanks to his more flexible schedule.  DJ also has a passion for football: he was playing for a varsity football team by his freshman year.  Ever since then, he focused all his free time on training to become an even better football player.  He also has to help out with his father’s  job.  For DJ, attending a regular high school was a huge challenge.  It interfered with his ability to productively complete his tasks and he was constantly frustrated trying to make time for everything while keeping his grades up.   All of this made him feel as if his high school’s regular schedule was setting him up to fail.

Thankfully, APSOL’s full time, part time, supplemental options and unique form of learning gave DJ the opportunity to receive the same education on a more flexible schedule.  APS Online High School also has a smaller population which allows DJ to have more effective engagement with each of his teachers.  He says his teachers always are easy to contact and they make sure to keep a positive encouraging relationship reassuring him that they want to help him learn and they are rooting for him to succeed.  DJ is more than appreciative of APSOL because he feels that the different model of learning is more beneficial and compatible with his daily schedule.  The school not only has supporting teachers, but also a fundamental and educational system that is sure to better prepare him and encourage him to look forward to his future.  –Dani