Back in March, we featured Hannah-Nikyta Youngblom and her love of numbers and Laurel Springs. This love continues to add up and prosper as she’s now participated in the Strategic Learning and Growth pilot course, a part of The Academy at Laurel Springs program.
A Problem-Solving Partnership
This spring pilot program was geared toward students looking to expand their problem-solving skills and gain even more opportunities to prep for college. The course itself is one of the first developed in conjunction with the Minerva Project, another leader in innovative education.
So, what prompted Hannah-Nikyta to become involved? “I love to try out new courses, pilot programs, and tasks. When reading the course description, I thought the course would be simple plan making and goal setting, while also learning how to study. I tend to enjoy those types of classes and thought it would be a great idea, especially with all the AP classes I would be taking in the upcoming years.”
With already one year of high school complete, Hannah-Nikyta is familiar with what it takes to succeed. “Developing study skills in high school is crucial, as university will be much more advanced.” Yet she soon discovered this prep course was much more than she expected. “In this course, we learned about the downward spiral cycle that we can have, how bad coping mechanisms will only encourage bad habits, and then how to combat these spirals of negativity and bad habits, including recognition, asking for help, planning, and replanning.”
Armed with this knowledge, Hannah-Nikyta is already taking strides to apply what she’s learned:
“I have already made several changes to my schedule to accommodate my new habits. For example, taking the appropriate number of breaks…to lower stress, chunking assignments, setting time limits per assignment part, reflecting what worked well during the week and what did not, and making sure to be productive throughout the day by doing small tasks immediately and breaking down smaller ones. These new habits will help me maintain a healthy schedule in high school, university, and my future life, where I am not overworked.”
Continuing Minerva’s Momentum
After the spring program, Hannah enrolled in additional Minerva courses designed to strengthen her communication skills and creative thinking. “This year, I am going to take Advanced Composition and Expressive Clarity and Applied Creative and Critical Thinking…I really enjoyed my experience in the pilot [Strategic Learning and Growth] course, I wanted to expand my learning and grow my critical thinking skills.”
Because she’s enrolled in these accelerated courses, her future is more open to explore college and career goals. “I plan on graduating high school after 11th grade and hopefully having the pleasure to attend my dream school: the University of Oxford. Because I love both mathematics and philosophy…I have thought about careers in political science and research, where I would want to improve the lives of those who are currently hindered or restrained by society. With the Minerva courses, I am able to gain skills in debate, teamwork, critical thinking, communication, and time management. These are valuable skills, no matter the aspiring occupation.”