Learner Spotlight: Milena & Miya de Vera
The de Vera sisters provide each other with genuine encouragement and consistently support one another as each strives to do her best. Milena (12th) and Miya (9th) de Vera are constantly looking for ways to improve their learning and other experiences.
Milena, who owns a donut business called Hoops, continually seeks to grow her knowledge base. She originally developed gluten-free donuts for her sister, who suffers from Celiac disease and was unable to enjoy the yummy hoop-shaped baked goods. Since then, Milena has taken this idea and grown it into a licensed, expanding business. To always keep learning and growing, Milena enrolled in a cooking class to develop her baking chops. Previously, she took a consumer math course to help keep accurate financials for her business. She tests and retests multiple recipes to come up with her line of products, and has persevered even when times were tough. Fortunately, her effort paid off and she learned from her mistakes to end up with a great product. Milena has even been asked by Williams Sonoma to participate in a pop-up bake sale for the “No Kid Hungry” charity this fall. She is graduating from iLEAD this year and plans to attend community college while she expands her business.
Younger sister Miya is as equally dedicated to her passion for art. She has taken many art courses and entered many contests including those through Google, LA County Library Bookmark, and the LA County Fair. She won first prize in the Library Bookmark contest, and two years in a row took home blue medals at the county fair. But it’s not always win-win-win. Even when she doesn’t get recognition, Miya continues to enter art contests and showcase her art without giving up. As a true lifelong learner, Miya is also taking courses to help her advance her art repertoire. As a brand new high schooler this year, Miya has sought to expand her art repertoire and is taking classes in digital arts, animation, and drawing. She aspires to attend CalArts and is working on creating an Etsy business to sell her artwork.
Both of these learners demonstrate a growth mindset because they are willing to look at what didn’t work and improve it for the next time to be successful. They challenge themselves and push themselves. They don’t fear failing because they see it as a learning opportunity and are willing to put the work into their passions and academics to be successful.