iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format. Click here for current information.

Mar 19, 2020 @ 13:49

High School

Our News & Events

Learner Spotlight: Grace Gilroy

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When you think of a learner who exemplifies the notion of what a homeschooled 10th grader might look like, you think of Grace. She thrives in this environment and strives for excellence in all that she does! Not only is she a talented dancer, spending countless hours in the ballet studio, but she also loves to perform on stage and beams in front of an audience. Grace has performed in the Nutcracker, Hansel and Gretel, and will be in Cinderella this Spring. Dancing fills Grace’s heart with so much joy! Not only does Grace thrive in the dance studio, but she is also an amazing scholar! She puts forth so much effort in both areas, proving that hard work pays off.

Grace would love to attend the University of Nebraska when she graduates in 2022. We have no doubt that Grace will continue to find success in all that she does. It is part of her character and embodies who she is to the core.

“I know the price of success: Dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

National Honor Society (NHS) Application for 2020-21

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More than just an honor roll, the National Honor Society (NHS) recognizes high schoolers who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. The NHS’s primary goal is not only to prepare students for university, but also for life. It engages learners in service projects, leadership development, scholarship searches, and career exploration.

The following is a note from our current iLEAD Exploration’s NHS president, Mary Miller:

“NHS is one of the most amazing groups you can join in high school. Every year we get the opportunity to complete 10 school service hours and 10 independent hours. This gives us a chance to meet students throughout the school and serve your communities. In NHS, we learn how to successfully serve our school, meet other high school students, and become tech-savvy. Personally, I joined the NHS because I was super excited to meet other high school students. It has taught me time management, helped me brainstorm service projects, and even helped me apply for college! If you meet the requirements, I highly encourage you to apply for the NHS.”

Learners may apply if:

  1. They are currently in 9th, 10th or 11th grade;

  2. They have been enrolled with iLEAD for at least one FULL semester;

  3. They have a minimum GPA of 3.0;

  4. They can commit to five hours of individual service projects in their community and five hours of school service projects (volunteering at school events, two hours of ASB, helping EF at park days, curriculum library and so on) for each semester; a total of 20 hours per school year;

  5. They are able to meet virtually once every month with the NHS team.

Applications for next year’s NHS membership are now being accepted until April 15th. To apply, click here. For any questions, please contact your EF or email us at highschool@ileadexploration.org.

National Honor Society (NHS) Application for 2020-21

National Honor Society Img

More than just an honor roll, National Honor Society (NHS) serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. NHS’s primary goal is not only to prepare students for the university but for life. It engages students in service projects, leadership development, scholarship searches, and career exploration.

The following is a note from our current iLEAD Exploration’s NHS president, Mary Miller:

“NHS is one of the most amazing groups you can join in high school. Every year we get the opportunity to complete 10 school service hours and 10 independent hours. This gives us a chance to meet students throughout the school and serve your communities. In NHS, we learn how to successfully serve our school, meet other high school students, and become tech-savvy. Personally, I joined the NHS because I was super excited to meet other high school students. It has taught me time management, helped me brainstorm service projects, and even helped me apply for college! If you meet the requirements, I highly encourage you to apply for the NHS.”

Learners may apply if:

  1. They are currently in 9th, 10th or 11th grade;

  2. They have been enrolled with iLEAD for at least one FULL semester;

  3. They have a minimum GPA of 3.0;

  4. They can commit to five hours of individual service projects in their community and five hours of school service projects (volunteering at school events, two hours of ASB, helping EF in park days, curriculum library and so on) for each semester; a total of 20 hours per school year;

  5. They are able to meet virtually once every month with the NHS team.

Applications for next year’s NHS membership are now being accepted until April 15th. To apply, click here. For any questions, please contact your EF or email us at highschool@ileadexploration.org.

Career Technical Education (CTE)

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Career Technical Education (CTE)

Career Technical Education (CTE) is a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses covering technical and occupational knowledge. The goal is to provide learners with a pathway to postsecondary education and/or career. You can think of this as a way for learners to “major” while in high school and focus on elective courses of specific occupational interest. iLEAD Exploration began our CTE program this school year with the following career pathways:

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To complete a CTE Pathway, learners need to choose a pathway, identify a career within that pathway, and then complete a two-year sequence of courses. Speak with your EF about adding a CTE pathway to your courses for the next school year.

Don’t see a career of interest above? That’s okay! There are many CTE opportunities available through your local community college. These programs offer state-of-the-art equipment and accredited certificates that can lead directly to a career. As an added bonus, you can also earn college units while working towards your career of interest! A simple search for CTE + the college name will bring up a listing of all their CTE Pathways. If you are interested, contact the Strong Workforce Counselor at your local community college.

For more information or assistance, view our CTE Webinar or reach out to us directly at cte@ileadexploration.org.

What Do Colleges Want to See in an Applicant?

college admissions

What do colleges really want to see in an applicant? Which boxes should I check to get into my dream school? The answer is there are no boxes, and there is no magic formula. Whether you are heading to your local community college, a California university, or if you want to attend an out of state liberal arts college, the answer is going to look a little different for everyone.

Chris Peterson from MIT offers an interesting perspective that can be applied to all learners. In his article, Applying Sideways, he goes beyond grades and SAT scores to emphasize three very important reminders:

Do well in school – Find things that excite and interest you and go beyond to the next class, level, or learning opportunity. The flexibility of home study allows you to advance and specialize your academic pursuits in unique ways.

Be nice Look at your local community or your homeschool community and ask what you can do to help. Volunteer where you see a need to enrich your own life and the lives of others.

Pursue your passions – Independent study allows you more flexibility to spend time cultivating your unique interests and passions. We encourage you to pursue new avenues of interest as well as develop your current hobbies and passions.

This is what colleges want to see in an applicant; a love of learning, kindness, and passion. While these will look different for each learner, the options available to you are endless. We encourage you to be proactive in pursuing your own unique path to college!

Joining the Military

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Joining the Military

Joining the military after high school can bring many benefits. In addition to serving your country and learning important life skills, you can receive housing, subsidized food, health care, and an education. Opportunities are available to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through the military. There are many different programs and ways to serve depending on your short term and long term career goals. To learn more about the different branches of the military, follow the links below.

. . . .

High School Spotlight: Grace Gilroy

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When you think of a learner who exemplifies the notion of what a homeschooled 10th grader might look like, you think of Grace. She thrives in this environment and strives for excellence in all that she does! Not only is she a talented dancer, spending countless hours in the ballet studio, but she also loves to perform on stage and beams in front of an audience. Grace has performed in the Nutcracker, Hansel and Gretel, and will be in Cinderella this Spring. Dancing fills Grace’s heart with so much joy! Not only does Grace thrive in the dance studio, but she is also an amazing scholar! She puts forth so much effort in both areas, proving that hard work pays off.

Grace would love to attend the University of Nebraska when she graduates in 2022. We have no doubt that Grace will continue to find success in all that she does. It is part of her character and embodies who she is to the core.

“I know the price of success: Dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

FREE ONLINE RESOURCES FOR HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS

Free Online Resources for High School Learners

At iLEAD Exploration, we are happy to provide learners with high school curriculum and online vendor suggestions, both of which can be purchased using instructional funds. We also have a variety of free resource suggestions for our high school families. While this list is non-exhaustive, we hope you find it helpful. These resources are available through the Hub on our website when you log into your account. The results can be narrowed down by subject and grade level. A few of our favorites are MITOpenCourseware, KhanAcademy, and Coursera. We hope you enjoy exploring these free resources!

Webinar: Find Your Best Fit for College

college admissions

College Information- Finding Your Best Fit

High School Clubs & Organizations

Hight School Clubs and Organizations

Are you interested in getting involved in an extra-curricular group or organization? Here are a few opportunities that are available to you.

Young America’s Foundation
Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is a conservative youth organization, founded in 1969, whose stated mission is “ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.”

High School Democrats of America
High School Democrats of America (HSDA) is a national political organization that serves as an entry point to Democratic politics for youth activists from across the country.

Model United Nations
Model United Nations (MUN) introduces learners to the field of international affairs. Learners act as ambassadors as they simulate the actual United Nations in debate. Here are some MUN opportunities for homeschoolers:

US Naval Sea Cadet Corp
USNSCC is a national youth leadership development organization that promotes interest and skill in naval disciplines while instilling strong moral character and life skills through leadership and technical programs modeled after the Navy’s professional development system.

Newport Sea Base
An iLEAD Exploration vendor, Newport Sea Base, offers a variety of maritime classes in sailing and rowing.

Speakers League
The Socal Speech and Debate team is great for learners interested in increasing their public speaking, leadership, and organizational skills. With chapters in both Orange County and Los Angeles, they are the largest youth public speaking club in Southern California.

High School Hangouts

High School Hangouts

In January, high school learners had an opportunity to get together for a game day. It was a great time to get to know one another and a great time was had by all. One learner, Kniyah, said, “It was a fun experience because I got to socialize with other homeschoolers and I got to play games and just be around other kids. The food was great and so were the games. I can’t wait for the next game day!” We hope you can join us at our next event, our high school hike and hangout! See below for details.

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FREE ONLINE RESOURCES FOR HIGH SCHOOL LEARNERS

Free Online Resources for High School Learners

At iLEAD Exploration, we are happy to provide learners with high school curriculum and online vendor suggestions, both of which can be purchased using instructional funds. We also have a variety of free resource suggestions for our high school families. While this list is non-exhaustive, we hope you find it helpful. These resources are available through the Hub on our website when you log into your account. The results can be narrowed down by subject and grade level. A few of our favorites are MITOpenCourseware, KhanAcademy, and Coursera. We hope you enjoy exploring these free resources!

What’s Next? Gap Year

Gap Year

February is Gap Year Exploration Month! A gap year is a purposeful break between high school and college. There is often an emphasis on experiential learning and pushing beyond one’s comfort zones. Learners return from gaps years with a better understanding of future college goals and a clearer sense of purpose. Gap years can be structured or unstructured. The Gap Year Association offers advice on how to plan a gap year.

Learners can approach gap years in two ways: They can wait to apply to college or they can ask the college to defer their start date. Not all colleges will allow a student to take a gap year, so find out the college’s policy before you apply. Some colleges will require a student to apply again the following year while others will allow the break.

If you are interested in looking at the gap year option, the Gap Year Association has information on accredited gap year programs as well as scholarships. Students can search by interest and timing, or they can look at a full list of opportunities including alumni reviews.

Here is some additional reading on gap years. One of the first books written about gap years is The Gap-Year Advantage.

High School Spotlight: Hayden Crawford

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Hayden joined iLEAD Exploration in 2019 and exemplifies the definition of true grit! In order to pursue his acting career, he chose the homeschool path which fits his lifestyle perfectly. Juggling homeschool, courses at the local college, piano lessons and time on set, this learner knows how to get the job(s) done. Hayden works hard in all he does and sets his goals high.

Hayden began acting at the age of 10, in a church production of Newsies. By the age of 13, he was traveling between his home in Dallas, TX and Los Angeles to film for Nickelodeon’s Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn (you may know him as Dooley). He and his family moved to LA full time in 2017. He has been in other feature films and shows including Disney’s Magic Camp, Schooled on ABC, Adam Ruins Everything and more.

This learner has an incredible attitude, a smile that brightens any room he enters, and is a perfect gentleman. He sets a perfect example of one who excels because of the dedication he puts into his daily routine.

High School Hike and Hangout

iLEAD Exploration

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Webinar: High School Overview For Middle School

CTE

HighSchoolOverview_2020

High School Hike and Hangout

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The Trails Cafe in Los Angeles
Friday, February 28 from 10:30 am-1:30 pm
This event is for high school learners only.
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Hike on one of the nearby trails
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Hang out in the picnic table area at the cafe to play cards, board games and chill! Learners can bring a sack lunch or can purchase lunch at the cafe. Water, snacks, and cookies will be provided.
Click here to RSVP! We look forward to seeing you there!

Summer Programs for High School

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If you’re looking for a productive way to spend your summer and are interested in greater college preparedness, consider attending a pre-college summer program. These programs can be a great opportunity to experience life on a college campus, earn advanced college credit, build relationships, and increase your admission chances. Summer programs are available locally, with commuter or on-campus options, and across the country. They can cover general college readiness and subjects or focus on specific areas of study. Is there a specific college you are interested in attending? Apply to their summer program! Don’t delay! Most programs have application deadlines in March and April and many offer financial aid for those who qualify. Here are a few suggestions, but you can do your own research as well:

General Studies:

Specific Subjects:

This list is in no way exhaustive but should get you started in the right direction. If summer programs like these are out of your reach, acquiring a summer job or taking a course at the community college can also add depth to your admissions profile.

SAT & ACT Test Practice

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Taking college entrance examinations can be stressful. The best way to overcome text anxiety is to be well-prepared. A wide variety of books, online programs, and tablet apps are available to equip learners by teaching test-taking strategies and providing practice problems. Check out the resources below:

The College Board website offers free, full-length SAT practice tests.

The ACT Test website provides practice test questions.

Khan Academy Test Preparation is an excellent resource for SAT test preparation.

Free test prep is available online at:

Mobile Apps for Test Prep:

  • Daily Practice SAT by The College Board

  • ACT Online Prep by ACT, Inc

  • Khan Academy App

  • ACT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards by Varsity Tutors is a great app for ACT practice. It can be found in the Apple iTunes store.

Scholarships

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The best form of need-based and merit-based financial aid comes directly from a college or university. Need-based aid depends on a family’s financial situation while merit-based aid, also known as scholarships, comes from student achievement or talent. This can be in the areas of academics (grades and test scores), visual and performing arts, community service, leadership, athletics, and more. It takes effort to research scholarships provided by each college, but it is worth it.

Some things to know when exploring scholarships:

  1. Locate the financial aid section of each college to see what types of scholarships they offer.

  2. Check carefully for scholarships that require an extra application or additional requirements.

  3. Be aware of stacking and displacement. When a student receives a scholarship and need-based aid, the college may stack the aid, allowing the student to receive both, or displace one form of financial aid with the other.

Local Scholarships

Students may also be able to find scholarships through local businesses, service organizations, or even their parents’ employers. It is wise to conduct a Google search to see what is out there. Organizations such as the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Port of Los Angeles, and other organizations may provide financial opportunities.

High Achieving Underrepresented Students

There are several large scholarships that are available to high achieving students from underrepresented groups such as low-income students or minorities. These include Questbridge, The Posse Foundation, the Gates Scholarship, and others.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

California is in a group of states that offer a tuition exchange called the Western Undergraduate Exchange or WUE. Participating colleges require a minimum GPA and/or test score to qualify. Some colleges award the WUE rate automatically and some award the rate to only a few students. WUE nonresident tuition discounts average up to $9,400 per year making these schools more affordable than some California schools.

RaiseMe

RaiseMe is a website that allows students to earn micro-scholarships based on grades, activities, work experience, and more. Participating colleges guarantee that students will be awarded a minimum amount of scholarship money based on the accurate information provided. RaiseMe is a great way for a student to gauge how much a college might award in merit aid as well as earn scholarship money that would otherwise not be available. Students can start adding their grades and activities as early as 9th grade and watch their scholarships build up throughout their high school years. Check out iLEAD’s RaiseMe page.

To explore and learn more about financial aid, make an appointment with our College Advisor, Laura Kazan.

Keep an eye out for our webinar on financial aid and the college search in April.

Research Universities

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When high schoolers say they want to go to a large university, they are usually interested in school spirit, choices of majors, and an active and vibrant campus. What many learners don’t realize is that they are also usually schools that have a high level of research. At a research university, the focus is on faculty research and scholarship.

Research universities have active campuses with sports and activities that add to the college experience. The large student body allows a significant choice of majors and specialties. In fact, UCLA offers 130 majors and the University of Southern California (USC) offers 177. Most universities also offer programs such as teaching, business, nursing, and engineering which may not be available at all smaller colleges. These universities may provide cutting-edge research and opportunities for hands-on experience as an undergraduate.

Research universities and liberal arts colleges are very different and it is important to take the opportunity to explore both. Some learners thrive when surrounded by people and enjoy the wide assortment of classes, while others feel more comfortable in small seminar classes with more personalized attention. You won’t know until you visit a few campuses, so take a look around and see what universities are near you. Take a tour and attend an information session. There are hundreds of universities in the United States, and if a research university sounds like an exciting and fulfilling place, we can find one that fits your interests and budget.

Learner Spotlight- Savannah Fox

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Savannah was interested in art at a very young age. She loved to sketch or paint whenever she had the opportunity. The choice to homeschool mainly came from the opportunities it would create for her to cultivate her passion and skills.

While mostly a digital artist, Savannah enjoys traditional art as well. She graduated from the Ryman Arts program this past spring and has been taking art classes at College of the Canyons. Being able to be dual enrolled at a community college and work towards her degree while still at iLEAD has been amazing.

Savannah’s hobbies revolve around art! She loves character design, character development, and fashion design.

As for her future goals, she is looking to find an internship when she turns 18. She is looking for a career where she can follow her passion for art while still having the freedom to create.

Charter Profile

iLEADing the Way with STEM x3

Be sure to view our public school profile for iLEAD Exploration (our official charter name is iLEAD Hybrid). Since opening five years ago, we have built a solid charter school option for all types of learners!

Rolling and Late Admissions

Admissions

Applying to college? It’s not too late!

While the deadline for most California public university campuses has passed, there are still hundreds of colleges ready and waiting for your application. Regular and rolling decisions are happening now, with many deadlines in January and others that stretch into the spring. For colleges with regular decision, learners must apply by the deadline and will receive an offer of admission and financial aid on a specific date, most often in March. Rolling decisions may or may not have a priority or hard deadline, and decisions are granted upon application review. Some decisions arrive as early as two weeks after all paperwork has been submitted!

Check out this list of late application schools.

Be sure to check each college website for deadlines and requirements and schedule an appointment with Laura Kazan, your college advisor, if you have any questions.

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