Learner Spotlight: Ackah-Miezah Family
The Ackah-Miezah family are longtime successful homeschoolers starting their 12th year learning from home and their fourth year with iLEAD. Lena Ruisseau (grade 12), Oliver, (grade 10), and Edward Winston, (grade 6) have all made the best of their time with iLEAD Exploration.
These learners are incredibly proactive about social justice, their education, and their extracurricular activities. Over the summer, the Ackah-Miezah learners invested time in reading books that focus on social justice issues, having lots of family conversations about social justice, and initiating talks with peers and adults about their views on how we can create a more just and equitable world, as well as attending rallies around social justice causes. Ruisseau has created a “social justice” club with a group of friends who will gather monthly over the next school year to discuss and participate in activities, which they hope will proactively create change. Some of the events on the schedule include feeding the homeless in downtown LA, attending marches, raising money for causes they are passionate about, and volunteering at an urban garden.
These learners have also all been proactive about the kinds of topics they want to study this year. Even though the curriculum is aimed at Winston, the whole family is super excited to dive into a decolonized history curriculum called Woke Homeschooling. They are looking forward to all the beautiful and educational books it covers. Winston had his passion for African American History piqued this past year when he did a unit for Black History Month featuring important events and people in the Civil Rights Movement.
In addition to their foresight and preparation, the Ackah-Miezahs also live with purpose: acting as youth mentors to younger children and always representing their biracial family with pride. These learners work hard in all they do, including supporting the family business, Cafe Ruisseau in Playa Vista. They spend all day on Saturday and many days during the summer at the cafe talking with customers, wiping down tables, running errands, and organizing the stockroom. The entire family has set out to be purposeful about creating a safe coffee community where all people can come and enjoy coffee, community, and conversation. Even though their outdoor cafe has taken a big hit because of COVID 19, the Ackah-Miezah family is committed to working as a family in their black-owned-and-operated business to best serve their customers.
Overall the Ackah-Miezah learners are self-motivated to finish their school work at a high level, and their mom sees herself as more of a coach and a cheerleader than the motivator. They bring this dedication to being the best they can be to track (Ruisseau), basketball and football (Oliver) and basketball (Winston).
Ruisseau is back at iLEAD Exploration after two years of private high school. She was awarded with the junior year English award and has been an honor roll student all her high school years. She enjoys running track and jumping long jump and triple jump. She has been mentoring youth in her community since the age of 13. This year she is volunteering as a youth mentor at a local urban garden called “Black Thumb Garden.” She is also going to take an iLEAD Online acting class for the first time this semester. She enjoys swimming, surfing, skiing, hiking, watching movies, reading, eating out, spinning, workout classes, spending time with friends, traveling, church, and horseback riding. Oliver enjoys basketball, football, surfing, skiing, traveling, swimming, eating out, hiking, video games, Magic the Gathering, science, earning money, church, and riding quads. Winston plays hours of basketball every day. He enjoys being the baby of the family and all the perks that come with it. His best friends are his older siblings, and he loves playing piano with the Burbank Music Academy. He also enjoys video games, traveling, riding quads, swimming, surfing, skiing, and watching movies with his family.
The Ackah-Miezahs really enjoy traveling together and went on some adventures this summer to the Yuba River in Northern California, where they cliff jumped into the river, inner tubed, and hiked to majestic waterfalls. They also took a surfing trip to Santa Cruz, California, because they love to surf together and with friends. They took another jaunt to the San Juan Islands in Washington state for ten days of island fun on the beaches, swimming in the lakes, hiking, and lots and lots of family tennis.
Overall, the family appreciates the time homeschool affords them to invest in their children and their education, which is equipping them to be kind, successful, emotionally intelligent, and fulfilled adults.
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