Jada Schnider

Jada Schnider

During my time at the El Reno Learning Center, one of the most important life lessons I learned was that the conventional way is not the only way.

My path with ERLC’s blended-learning program started at the beginning of my sophomore year in 2016. I chose this path because I felt too confined at the high school.

I wanted to fast-track through school and work at my own pace. Doing so allowed me to finish my high school curriculum a year ahead and then complete a year of college before graduating.

I flourished not only academically but creatively. The teachers and staff at the Learning Center always encouraged me to embrace my talents and push myself further. While at the ERLC, I learned to play the guitar and the ukulele, and I furthered my interest in poetry and creative writing.

Alternative education allowed me to branch out and explore new opportunities outside of the standard high school curriculum.

Overall, I grew abundantly as a person. I challenged myself academically, creatively, and I also spent time mentoring other students, whether that be helping with schoolwork or just being a friend to those in need.

I found that I enjoyed working with others so much that I explored other volunteering options outside of school, such as sponsoring at Camp Perfect Wings and being a buddy at Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine Prom.

Night to Shine is an “unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older.”

Alternative school is not the place where bad kids go. It is a school where students who have unique challenges and struggles can be accepted and nurtured. It provides an environment where students who are creative and artistic are free to excel.

It allows kids who learn by doing things with their hands to blossom. It is a place where a girl like me can work ahead and complete core subjects early because it was what was best for me as an individual.

The El Reno Learning Center allows students to use a variety of techniques to reach academic goals through blended learning: completing projects, giving presentations, participating in service learning and working with digital curriculum.

Kids in alternative schools are unique in many ways. We are resilient, creative, talented and intelligent. We find our greatest successes when allowed to flourish “outside of the box,” and that is exactly what the El Reno Learning Center provides.