Learner Spotlight: Melissa Termini


Our learner spotlighted this week prefers to address you directly:

My name is Melissa, and I am an 11th grader in iLEAD Exploration. Except for some time in preschool, I have been homeschooled all of my learning years. Both of my older sisters were also homeschooled, and now one attends California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and one graduated from CSUN last year.

I have always enjoyed the arts, and because of charter schools like iLEAD Exploration, I have been able to pursue those interests and develop my artistic ability further, using instructional funds for professional instruction and art supplies. Since the time I was little, I have been taking art classes, starting at Kidsart (now Drawn2Art) and then moving on to Mission Renaissance Studios, where I still attend weekly. I am so grateful for my wonderful art teacher and for the opportunity to learn how to use a variety of mediums like watercolor, charcoal, and, most recently, oil paint! During my freshman year, I also had the privilege of taking Drawing 201 at my local community college. Though the class challenged me, I made it out with an A and now have confidence to draw things I had previously thought impossible for me, like portraits and accurate architecture.


Through the years, my main hobbies have been drawing, experimenting with new markers, or doing anything that exercised my creativity. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I decided to host a crafting club at my house that consisted of my fellow homeschoolers and me. We met monthly and would do a craft that I had planned out and bought supplies for. For example, one month we each made our own silhouette night lights. The crafting club was a fun way to bond with friends while doing something fun and rewarding. It was so cool to see how unique everyone’s creations turned out!


All of my creative experiences have led me to a deep appreciation for the arts. In my spare time, you can usually find me doodling in my school planner, experimenting with new marker colors, or drawing for my art Instagram account. iLEAD Exploration has given me a foundation in the arts that will help me in the future as I aspire to become a high school art teacher. I want to become an art teacher so that I may share my love for the arts and hopefully inspire others to pursue their own interest in it.

Whether it’s oil painting at Mission Renaissance, doodling flowers on my homework, or recording a drawing time lapse for my social media accounts, art has become a significant part of my life. Because of homeschooling, I am able to integrate art into my daily life, and thanks to my parents, art teachers, iLEAD Exploration, friends, and my inner yearning, I have been encouraged to continue doing what I love and to share it with others.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!




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