Susannah

39 years Old
Portland, OR

I Am INterested IN

....crystals/stones, self-exploration and development, emotional intelligence, spiritual and emotional growth, invention, innovation, problem-solving, community, working with people, games, puns.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH EDUCATION GOES LIKE THIS:

The guidance staff [at my high school] told me I’d never make anything of myself. I told them I didn’t want to go to college--that I couldn’t go to college--so what was the point? This was shocking and dismaying for the staff at this school, an Ivy League prep mill. They had no idea who I was, what I needed, or what circumstances I lived in, and even if they did, they didn’t know what to do with me.

I transferred to City-As-School, a unique program designed to help kids graduate who didn’t fit into the typical education. It was widely known as a drop-out school, allowing kids to do internships, projects and tutoring instead of regular schedules and classes to earn the high school credits needed to graduate, but at the same time gaining real-world work experience and flexibility required to deal with their circumstances that caused them to drop out of ‘regular’ school--circumstances ranging from being primary caregiver to recovering from addiction. I flourished so much in this environment, I went from being the shame of Stuyvesant to being chosen to represent CaS as a model student to representatives of the Department of Education of NYC. I delayed my graduation an extra semester so I could take advantage of more of these opportunities before I aged out of the system.

As I got older I considered going back to school, but felt a dread around it, and what did I need letters after my name for anyway? I looked at others who’d attended university and were working in a completely different field and paying off enormous debt and wondering why they’d done it, and it seemed like for all these factors, I wouldn’t ever actually enroll.

WHAT'S MISSING?

I have such a broad range of interests, but slightly too little confidence to really pursue them, make the connection and take the actions with whole heart. I believe that I can build this confidence, along with my portfolio, in an environment and community that encourages personal diversity, instead of the funneling action of many schools. I don’t want to be a thing, I want to try everything. I am an artist, a scientist, a counselor, a teacher, a comedian, an author, and a community leader but all of these aspects of myself are not yet completely realized, not having had the structure or support to bring them to light yet. I know that Wayfinding Academy can offer me that fertile ground to grow the wildly diverse garden of my soul.

 

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