04.28.2021

Learner Spotlight: Milana Alexander

Milana Alexander featured

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” Although this quote is traced back to Confucius over 2000 years ago, it couldn’t be more true for iLEAD Exploration learner Milana Alexander today.

For Milana, who has been homeschooling since kindergarten, travel is how she “sharpens the saw.” She has visited 24 countries and 24 US states so far. In September, she became interested in the US National Parks and the Junior Ranger program and hopes to visit all 63 (thus far, she has visited 10). Traveling allows her to explore a variety of cultures, climates, histories and societies. Milana has no fear trying new food wherever she travels. Exposure to diverse food has made her an adventurous eater; currently her favorite foods are sushi, any kind of pasta, and meatballs and mashed potatoes from her favorite restaurant in Sweden. She and her mom have even created a blog that documents their travels and includes tips for traveling as a family, including awesome podcasts and apps.

Traveling helps Milana hit all parts of Habit Seven, sharpening the saw. Physically, she is able to take care of her body by eating nutritious, local food. She walks around new cities and plays at many playgrounds. She gets to rest in comfortable hotels and Airbnbs as well. On a social-emotional level, Milana loves making friends wherever she goes. She is an inclusive child who has grown up playing with children all over the world; even if they don’t speak the same language, they make connections through play. She feeds her mind by reading and learning through programs, such as the national parks program, or visiting museums and even crafting. Finally, Milana fills her spiritual side by connecting with nature. Whether hiking through the Rocky Mountains, stargazing in Death Valley, or snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands, Milana can find the beauty in all of nature.

Milana shows great enthusiasm and energy for everything she does. She is particularly enthusiastic about animals, and when she isn’t traveling, she fosters kittens for a local animal shelter. She bottle-feeds them and showers them with love. She has fostered 38 kittens so far. Her hobbies and interests include traveling, animals, visiting museums (especially science!), Minecraft, reading, playing board games, and making new friends. Her favorite academic subject is social studies. She loves swimming, kayaking, sewing, horseback riding, park and beach days, and taking classes on her Peloton bike.

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