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High school isn't stopping Kassadie from pursuing her career. The virtual school student is studying to become an ASL interpreter alongside her other classes at Indiana Digital Learning School. In observation of #DisabilityAwarenessMonth we are honored to share Kassadie's story!
How did you find your alternative schooling option, and do you feel it has allowed you to pursue a career or interest you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise?
I have been in alternative schooling from the get-go. My parents sent me to a hybrid school from kindergarten to 6th grade before switching to virtual. I have been full time virtual from 7th grade to the present as a high school junior. Choice schooling has absolutely opened doors that I would have never known existed, like learning ASL. I hope to become a multilingual interpreter/translator.
How did you become interested in studying ASL?
My freshman year of high school, I was told I needed to take at least one foreign language. I had never heard of anyone else learning ASL and my school provided it, so I figured “Why not?” I would be able to interact with a completely different group of people who have a different perspective on life.
What does “Education Freedom” mean to you?
To me, “Education Freedom” means the ability to learn without barriers, regardless of circumstance.
Are there any misconceptions you’ve witnessed about alternative schooling options? What would you like to set the record straight on?
One of the most common misconceptions I’ve heard is that kids in alternative schooling; specifically virtual and homeschooling, is that we are not well socialized. Talk to any one of us and there is a very good chance we will surprise you.
What are your favorite subjects, and do you have a favorite moment from your time in high school?
I can’t really decide which class I like best. They are all enjoyable in their own right, and my “true” favorite changes from time to time. I guess right now, the classes I am enjoying the most are Chemistry, American History, and of course ASL.
My favorite moments have to be when an English assignment gives me an idea for a personal writing project.
What advice would you give to a student struggling in their current school? What are some tips for finding a school that is the right fit for them?
I’m honestly terrible at giving advice, but I’ll give it a go. If you are having trouble at your current school, that’s okay. There are other options out there. One size does NOT fit all. You should enjoy learning, and it should be in a manner that is convenient and accessible for you.
What are your plans after graduating high school (or college)?
I’m not entirely sure what I plan on doing after high school, and nothing is quite set in stone yet. I think I am going to take a gap year to give myself a chance to interact with the Deaf community and improve my ASL. From there, I could do two things: I could go to college to get a few more skills under my belt, or I could get an interpreters‘ license/certificate so I can start working as an interpreter for the deaf. (Or both for that matter).
Anything else you'd like to share?
Do your best to learn about other people who are different from yourself, without judgment. Ignorance breeds fear. The sooner we can live in peace with one another, the sooner we can work together to solve more important issues than hate.
Favorite book: You’re really going to make me, a hoarder of fables and fictitious tomes, choose a favorite book? Kathryn Lasky got me addicted to reading. I’ve always had a soft spot for anything by Rick Riordan. When I’m not reading one of those, I’m rereading other old favorites.
Favorite quote: “The books the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame” - Oscar Wilde
Favorite movie: Again, you’re really making me choose a favorite? My favorite would probably have to be The Princess Bride, but my rainy-day movie is Thor: Ragnarok.
Favorite podcast: Not much of a podcast listener, but when I am, it is probably a fictional drama or DnD.
Favorite music: My favorite genres are limitless, but the main go to genres are Indie, folk/pop, alternative, with a splash of steampunk.
Favorite hobbies: Being one with nature like hammock camping/kayaking/hiking, reading, crafting, gaming, and piano.
Coffee or tea? I prefer tea. Peach tea in the summer, green tea year-round, and chamomile with honey when I want to stay cozy under the blankets.