High School Learner Spotlight: Alexander McDaniel

iLEAD Exploration High School Learner Spotlight Alexander McDaniel

When I entered 7th grade, I made the transition from a brick-and-mortar school to iLEAD. One of the main reasons was my interest in filmmaking. I wanted to do a lot of things within the arts, but I couldn’t since I was always in school. Yet ever since joining iLEAD, I’ve been able to pursue my career with a greater force than ever before. At first, adjusting to independent study was difficult, but as it became part of my routine, it was almost (almost) smooth sailing from there. A little addition to my love for iLEAD: When I was in 8th grade going into 9th, I passed the high school entrance exams and got into Buckley, Brentwood, Loyola, and Windward. But I turned them down because they didn’t offer the same flexibility as iLEAD. Despite this, I feel like I get a grade-A education with iLEAD. I get to complete honors projects and assignments from each subject from different courses, and I get to even have flex support.

Currently, I’m a junior in dual enrollment with LA Valley College majoring in an AA in Cinematic Arts Production. I was recently able to get certificates in screenwriting, visual effects, and media art core studies (I’m still pursuing more). For high school, I have an amazing Educational Facilitator named Heather Pfifer Tolan, who helps me with my time management and schoolwork, and an amazing academic counselor named Heather Fecarotta, who is preparing me for my college endeavors. I’m also a member of the National Honors Society for high school and college. For my job, I work at the Academy Museum as part of the Teen Council, where I create and help with events at the museum. I’m able to go to networking events, where I meet pioneers in the film industry, make short films with other filmmakers, and am part of Ghetto Film School. I even get to hang out with friends and peers, so I don’t feel like I miss out on socializing.

All in all, I’m so glad I joined and stayed with iLEAD. I don’t know where I would be without it.



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