High school is notoriously known as a time of identity crisis. Many students feel tossed by the tumultuous winds of uncertainty. From choosing classes to choosing a college, it can be difficult to make decisions that shape one’s high school experience and beyond. BASIS Scottsdale’s unique charter school education provided the support that kept me anchored as I navigated unpredictable and unknown seas.
I vividly remember my first chemistry class. To my left was a formidable humming structure that I later learned was a fume hood, and to my right was a whirring machine that I later learned was a spectrophotometer. I really did not understand how any of these weird devices would help me, or anyone else, learn about how people fall in love. After all, as a wide eyed sixth grader, that's what I thought chemistry was! After many afternoons with my teacher in office hours, I began grasping a subject that (only a few months before) was completely foreign to me. Not many twelve-year-olds learn to balance chemical equations or name chemical compounds. The hours after school with my teacher taught me not to be unafraid of the unknown. Without the my teacher's support and the opportunity to take a high level class at an early age, I would not be as willing to run towards new challenges. Maybe twelve-year-olds and Bunsen burners make a better combination than you might think.
The same adventurous spirit that dared me to excel in chemistry dared me to pursue other challenges. Volunteering at Banner Desert Hospital during high school pushed beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone, as each shift presented me with situations that built my character. The problem solving, crisis management, and interpersonal skills that I gained while volunteering helps me interact comfortably with people of diverse backgrounds and make quick decisions even if I am under pressure. I would not have these skills if I had not learned to explore new territory during sixth grade chemistry.
Now, I will take my adventurous spirit to Stanford University. I'm excited to tackle new opportunities and challenges that will help me continue to be successful. My time at BASIS taught me that success isn’t measured solely by a letter grade, but also by individual growth. I’ve realized that by embracing the unknown, I develop character and can accomplish much more than I thought possible. Though I never did learn a chemical formula that explains love, I will carry the lessons that I did learn in sixth grade chemistry with me forever.
This month, thousands of high school students will graduate from charter schools across the county. We are so impressed by everything that these students have accomplished and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Check back here every day to see a new charter school graduate in our 30 Days of Grad series. Want to share your story? Join the conversation using #30DaysOfGrad.