Words From Twilight Students
Written below are words from past and present students in the Twilight Evening Program. In their own words they describe their experience attending Twilight.
The Twilight Program by Reagan Aldinger (Class of 2023)
Programs such as Twilight are important because they offer opportunities to kids that accommodate their specific needs. It has helped me so much this last year of high school by giving me the chance to graduate early, have no school when my baby comes, and not be penalized for missing school due to doctor appointments or migraines. I finished the first quarter at Adrienne C Nelson High School, but I wanted to switch to an online program because I was missing so much school. And, I just wasn’t in the right headspace to be successful. Twilight made it so I could graduate and be successful in life trying to balance school while being pregnant.
Graduation was a very stressful topic for me after I found out I was pregnant. Attending in-person at Nelson I would have had a full schedule first semester or split my credits in both semesters. I chose to do a full first semester but after the first month, my symptoms started kicking my butt. I was out multiple days a week because of migraines or poor mental health, and I just didn’t care enough to go on top of my monthly doctor appointments. I ended up barely going to school and was behind in my work and super stressed and I needed to find a better way. I found multiple different programs but all of them went through their own school so I wouldn’t have been able to walk with my class. Then, we found Twilight. Twilight made it possible for me to still be enrolled in my home school and do all my assignments through a program my school was using for credit recovery. I will now walk with my class and be done with school earlier than I would have at Nelson. Graduating on time through this program has benefited me the most because I will be able to be full time with my child.
When becoming a parent and still trying to find a way to graduate most people would just do what they could and be done, but I needed to graduate. I didn’t want to be leaving my baby to go to school every day because I want to graduate before he even comes. I am due in April and I will be done with school in January, which will give me enough time to prepare for the baby’s arrival. Getting to work on my schedule also takes a lot less stress off my body so I can be the healthiest I can be for my child. Twilight is helping me achieve my life goal of graduating high school even under the circumstances of my life at the moment. I now get not only to be a good student, but also to be a great mother and role model for my child when he is grown. It is very hard, but I am managing better by being able to be online. And having missed attendance from my pregnancy, it has changed my grades drastically.
Attendance is very important when you are attending an actual school. If you aren’t in class, you won’t get or understand the material that was being taught in class and then you won’t be able to do the work. Failing the work will be a big part of your final grade and be the ultimate sign if you can graduate or not. I was also taking elective classes where attendance was the main thing I was graded on. Missing so much school was not only affecting my plan on graduating on time, but also my education because I wasn’t there to learn since I was in a different place than my classmates. In Twilight, I get to do my classes from home and email my teacher telling him about what I’ve been working on. I’m learning where I am most comfortable, and I love being able to be successful from the comfort of my own home.
Twilight has saved my hope for not only graduating but also allowing me to be the best person I can be for my child when he is born. I no longer have to worry about not graduating when I need to or not being absent from my child’s life when he is most dependent on me. I have noticed that my anxiety and depression have gotten so much better, and I don’t think anything other than the Twilight Program would have been able to help. It is such a beautiful opportunity to have since they work around what you need specifically.
Programs like Twilight are so important because they allow people in any circumstance to do their best with less stress and allow that light at the end of the tunnel right in front of them.
For me, school was a constant struggle from day one. I had trouble with the school work and socializing with other students. The schools tried their best to help me, putting me in special help classes but it was never enough. I learned how to get by in school, I could pass my classes but I was still missing comprehending the work in areas like math. As time went on, it got harder and harder to pass classes I didn’t understand and I had to drop algebra 2 while I was three quarters into the class. Being out of the public school system has made me realize more than ever that it is not built to support students like me. Students with learning disabilities, mental illness, and physical illness always fall through the cracks. I tried my hardest in school but it was not an environment built for me. Sitting in one place for hours focusing is not my strong suit. I wish that I had known about my options throughout all of high school and schooling in general. No one had given me or my family the option to transfer to an alternative school, we didn’t even know Twilight existed until accidentally finding it. I wish I would have been given these options sooner, because I know I would’ve had a more enjoyable and more valuable school experience…I know my future holds greatness and joy and that is the most important to me. This is one of the first times I have great hope about my future. – Angelina Guiliana (Twilight Class of 2023)
Alternate programs (such as the Twilight Program) that use online learning as an option for students are an important and useful option for students. If a student wants–or needs–to work more, a program like Twilight allows them to do so while completing their school work thoroughly. If a student needs more time for themselves, especially for mental health,, a program such as Twilight can be more than helpful. Also, if a student has a hard time focusing or asking questions in school, they may do a lot better online, since they have more freedom to choose a time or place that is most comfortable for them to study and do their school, while being able to contact their teachers directly and not in the middle of class when they are surrounded by their peers. In all these ways, and so many more, programs that use online learning help students be much more productive and successful in school.
If a student has a job to save money to move out of their home, to help provide for their family, or if to chase a career, they might need to work more hours than they are able to while attending regular school. A normal school day takes up most of the day for students, causing them to be very limited in their availability with work, not to mention the time they need for studying, homework, and to themselves or with friends. “Taking high school courses online will help you build the time management and independence skills you will need in college and beyond. Since you likely won’t have the same level of accountability from teachers and classmates when you’re working independently at home, you will need to set reminders for your own deadlines and learn how to work in a focused, intentional manner while not in a classroom setting” (National Society of High School Scholars, 6 Benefits of Online High School Classes). This quote further explains how online schooling can improve your skills for employment and life after high school. Online school helps build independence and time-management skills, which are very important things for life after high school, including a career.
Mental health is another important consideration, and a very, very important thing to focus on, for anybody. Yes, some students do great in school, with their friends, and for some, being away from home is what teenagers need sometimes. But for others, being in school is a struggle. Whether it’s social anxiety or another health (whether it be physical or mental) problem causing the student to have a very rough time in school, some students dread going to school so much that they try to stay out of it. They cannot focus in class or do not want to get their work done even outside of class. This hugely impacts the success of a student and their school work. Also the site BlueSky Online, “5 Reasons Online School is Good for Your Mental Health” explains: “Many online schools have shorter class times, so students can learn, study and complete their homework during the day, leaving more time in the evening. Many students spend the majority of their time on school work, leading to burnout long before graduation. Having time for the things you enjoy can be an important step in boosting mental health.” This quote summarizes why and how online school helps the mental health of students.
Lastly, online school is beneficial for students because not every person can work as easily on the same time schedule or time of day. For some students, getting up early is hard, and it causes them to not be able to focus or stay awake in the first part of the day, if not all day. Then, students have to go home and do homework, study for a test or quiz and whatever other duties they have at home. This allows for very little free time for students to spend time with family and friends or have time to themselves to relax. That is all very important and connects back to mental health. Many students push themselves to keep up with school and burn out by graduation, or before then, and start to like school less and less, and do more poorly. Throughout high school and especially leading up to senior year, many students hear teachers talk about senioritis, which is where a senior will be so tired of focusing on work by their senior year or will be so excited for it to end that they also focus less on school. An article written by Arthur Morgan School, on the Importance of Free Time for Students states that, “Maria Montessori believed in free time. She understood that students need free time to process and practice the lessons they learned during academic periods. Free time gives students the opportunity to play and experiment. It gives them a break from their daily pressures and allows them to incorporate what they learned into their everyday activities and social connections…Free time actually promotes growth. By providing space for play and open experimentation, the students end up internalizing their education and be more conscious in their actions. We often witness our middle schoolers spending their free time processing what they just learned in class, or applying their knowledge by joking with each other about a topic they just learned. If they just moved from one class to the next, so much of this knowledge would be lost as they became overwhelmed by information overload.” As stated before this, free time helps students stay on track with their school work, helps mental health, and leads to more success for students. This article highlights another reason free time is needed: it helps students process information, apply it to the real world, and remember it and use it.
In conclusion, alternative programs that use online learning should always be an option and available for any student. It helps students to start and keep a career, and helps them to apply what they have learned to the working place. Online learning is beneficial to students’ mental health, and online school is very useful for students who need more free time but want to stay on track with school and get good grades. Students need to have easy access to the many benefits of alternative programs.
Kaylee Teeples (Twilight Class of 2023)
Online school programs are important because they provide students with the opportunity to access education from anywhere, at any time. This is especially beneficial for students who are unable to attend a traditional brick-and-mortar school due to location, physical ability, or other reasons. Additionally, online school programs often offer a wider range of course options and allow students to learn at their own pace. This can be particularly beneficial for students who need extra time to understand a concept or who want to accelerate their learning. Furthermore, online school programs often have lower costs than traditional schools, making them more accessible to a wider range of students. Finally, online schools can provide a more personalized learning experience for each student, which can lead to better academic outcomes. In short, online school programs are important because they provide flexibility, accessibility, and personalized learning opportunities for students.
Anonymous (Twilight Class of 2023)
Programs such as Twilight are important because they allow kids who are working and going to school balance out their lives. It allows you to work at your own pace within reason. It allows seniors to take only the classes they need in order to graduate instead of going to your normal high school and having extra classes you aren’t required for graduation. In my opinion it’s a very stress-free program. I dreaded going to school before Twilight. After I started Twilight I began to actually enjoy my schoolwork more and actually wanted to get it done. They’re also there to help you whenever you need it through email or you could even go into New Urban and get help in person. I appreciate the people who run Twilight and make the program possible.
Lilly Crabtree (Twilight Class of 2022)
I’ve noticed in this short amount of time being involved in the Twilight program that I am free to express myself. Yes, it’s still an English class but I haven’t looked at it that way because of the freedom I get. I can prove my ability and don’t have to be locked down with all the same assignments and expectations I was given at my high school. I can focus on starting my life after high school, I can work more hours, I can spend a good amount of time thinking about what I’m going to write and perfect it before turning it in. I’ve gotten to show how creative and passionate I am without restrictions. I’ve been able to show not only my teacher what I am capable of, but myself too. The Twilight Program is perfect for me. Personally I think programs like Twilight offer such a drastic change in education and allow so much more growth to individuals.
Hannah Walmer (Twilight Class of 2022)
I was asked to write about my opinion of the Twilight Program. Before I can explain why I think the way I do, I have to go back in time a bit to give a good idea of my thought process and why I have a strong opinion about the Twilight Program.
School is such a major part of childrens and young adults lives. For some children it begins as early as three years old. We’re taught to share, to stand in line, take our turn, follow direction, and we gain critical social skills. As we get older we progress and the expectations put on us get higher. I think grade school is the most important piece to childhood development. For the most part, children are on a similar level and are learning important skills at around the same rate. Of course there are always exceptions, but there is no doubt that we are all benefiting from the learning environment because it’s not specifically about education, it’s learning life skills too.
While we are still learning and perfecting what we learned in grade school, Jr. High is where kids start to care more about what others think and it can be crippling to some. Everyone is beginning to find their social circle, see where they fit, and form a more independent identity. High school is a very robotic environment when it comes to learning. Teachers are teaching what they have to and if you don’t catch on they move on without you. Teachers sometimes pass students even if they didn’t really do the job. I’ve thought many times that High school is a joke. It’s like a holding tank for kids, kind of a four year babysitting job for the school. I get it, it’s like, what would we do all day if we weren’t at school. But, maybe there should be more life skills being taught. I think High School would be more beneficial if we were able to help design it around how we learn and what we’re interested in more.
I’ve always struggled with math and reading out loud. Math was hard because I think they changed the process around Jr. High and I never really understood the “correct” way to solve a problem. I could get the same answer solving the problem my way, but that wasn’t going to get me a good grade. I felt discouraged and I guess I formed the identity of a girl who isn’t good at math. Reading out loud was hard for me because I was very shy and unsure of myself. I can write very well but reading is not my strong suit. I wonder if I write well because I’ve always been told that I’m a good writer…hmmm.
I’ve noticed in this short amount of time being involved in the Twilight program that I am free to express myself. Yes, it’s still an English class but I haven’t looked at it that way because of the freedom I get. I can prove my ability and don’t have to be locked down with all the same assignments and expectations I was given at my high school. I can focus on starting my life after high school, I can work more hours, I can spend a good amount of time thinking about what I’m going to write and perfect it before turning it in. I’ve gotten to show how creative and passionate I am without restrictions. I’ve been able to show not only my teacher what I am capable of, but myself too. The Twilight Program is perfect for me. Personally I think programs like Twilight offer such a drastic change in education and allow so much more growth to individuals. — Hannah Walmer (Twilight Class of 2022)
Students are faced with many challenges throughout their school careers. Some students have additional challenges and responsibilities like having a job, helping out at home, struggling with mental health or loss, and much more. Traditional school can be a really stressful thing for these kinds of students, making alternative schools and programs that much more important. Alternative programs such as Twilight are important for ensuring that all students will have an opportunity to succeed.
School curriculums aren’t as inclusive as they should be. Many schools don’t take into consideration the students who struggle a bit more than others. The students in rough home situations, the ones who are constantly battling with their mental health and support, the ones who are grieving, etc. In the United States alone, 32% of high school students struggle with anxiety disorders. This can range from being a “bump” in the road to being disabling. Struggling with this can make school very unappealing, and some students don’t have the motivation. The extra support and understanding that Twilight and other alternatives provide make students feel listened to and less alone. In addition, about 30% of students have jobs to maintain on top of school work and extracurriculars. Alternative programs are more flexible to students and generally offer more support. The flexibility and understanding that alternative programs offer to students gives them a better chance and more motivation to succeed in school.
Outside of the external struggles, everyone thinks and works differently. Tradition school tends to teach and operate in a “one size fits all” mindset. Each year, about 1.2 million students drop out of school in the United States, and about 25% of freshmen do not graduate on time. Alternative programs tend to be more individualized and students’ needs are acknowledged. The students who struggle through traditional school could thrive in a different environment. The needs of specific students change, and alternative schools or programs are more likely to adapt to that. When students’ needs are met, their chances of success are much higher.
From personal experience, alternative programs give students a fair chance. Being in Twilight has changed the way I view school, and it gave me a real chance at academic success. So many students struggle more than necessary because of the stresses of school. Twilight and other programs are imperative for students’ success as a whole.
Tate West (Class of 2022)
Averi R. Dickinson (Twilight Class of 2022)
After being in an online program to help myself into the reality of school again after years of neglecting the education that could have been taught to me, I have learned the Ups and downs to an online resource for education. Therefore I have decided to make this my topic and to further explain why online schooling is good for some groups of students and why it is important to make online schooling an option for those who would or need to use it.
The Education Degree states that “Unless you understand how each student learns best, you won’t be able to help them learn at their maximum potential.” Students need to be educated with the learning style that is best received. Their specific learning style should push them to the right limits to succeed in their studies. Online school can be the solution to this complicated issue. All students should have the opportunity to choose to receive their education online. The availability of online classes will impact education greatly and open a variety of paths for students. Therefore, an online school program should coexist alongside public schools to prosper each student in their own individual way.
Every student enrolled in public school should have the opportunity to take the same classes online. Students will benefit each semester by having the choice to take their classes online or on campus. Students will be allowed to take extracurriculars on campus while taking their core classes online. There are several incentives as to why an individual will take part in online courses. For instance, students with a different learning style, a complex daily schedule, a difficult family situation, or a disability should have this online option. Participating in public school on campus requires students to sit in a classroom 5 days a week for a minimum of 7 hours a day, and for some students, this is simply not practical. Teachers present their lessons and expect their students to learn the material in the same style. Unfortunately, some teachers often have preconceived opinions and speak their lessons from a biased perspective. Taking part in online schooling can eliminate a biased voice and allow students to learn the curriculum and create their own point of view. This relieves pressure from students, who feel the need to agree with the teacher’s standpoint in a classroom setting.
Students learn at a variety of paces and with different learning styles. For example, there are visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading and writing learners. Some individuals learn better in a classroom setting and for others it is much the opposite. Some individuals work better with more guidance and others are more independent learners. The article “One Size Does Not Fit All: Toward an Evidence-Based Framework for Determining Online Course Enrollment Sizes in Higher Education.”, by Susan H. Taft, Karen Kesten, and Majeda M. El-Banna, it states “It is clear that no one size fits all” (1). This article informs readers that everyone learns in a different style and that online courses are the solution. Receiving an education is important, so students need to be aware of how they receive an education that best suits them. Having online classes also positively impacts mental health, like depression and anxiety, for many adolescents in a positive way. The article “Comparing the Effectiveness of Classroom and Online Learning: Teaching Research Methods, Journal of Public Affairs Education”, by Anna Ya Ni explains, “Furthermore, participation may be less intimidating, and the quality and quantity of interaction may be increased in online classes”. This article explains that online classes are less intimidating. Students who may be nervous or suffer anxiety from a traditional school will benefit from this approach and may find themselves more engaged and actively participating. Having online classes will not limit students from partaking in team sports, activities, and extracurriculars. This way students can have a community and friends while also learning the curriculum at their own pace and style.
Looking into my own life, I can see how online school has impacted me. Growing up, I had never attended public school. I was enrolled in a private school at a young age, but that soon ended after two years. I have been enrolled in online school for the past two years and have experienced both good and bad. Having a big family and taking part in activities, has made my life excessively busy, and online school has come in handy multiple times. Online school is more flexible and allows students to take breaks when needed and to do work at a successful pace that works for that specific individual. Some negative aspect of having this flexibility is the opportunity to become behind on homework. Working alongside public schools and having these harsh deadlines will improve and change this issue. For me, the online school has its negative consequences too. Being enrolled in an online school has limited my community and my ability to participate in public school events. I think that having the online portion connected to each public school will help expand opportunities and fun experiences so that students do not feel as though they are missing out on the “high school experience”. Having online schools directly connected to public schools gives online students the feeling of community and the feeling of not missing out.
A few ways reveal themselves on how to put this plan into action. Each school district will have a set of teachers, who run the online portion of the classes. There will be no extra fee for students taking these online classes. The online curriculum will be the same as the curriculum used in the public school and the deadlines will be harsh to ensure that students stay up to date with their work. Because online school takes place wherever a student pleases, they will still be in communication with their teachers. Students will be able to email or call teachers during workdays and regular hours. The communication between students and teachers online will be exceptional. Teachers will be available to answer questions about work and give out the answers that students need, to work to their best abilities. I strongly think this is how to successfully solve the problem.
The main issue I see in public school is that students are not educated according to their learning styles. In public school, students are constantly pushed to learn with a style and pace that may not necessarily suit them best. This issue in public schools needs to be addressed as soon as possible and I believe that online courses are the answer. Every student enrolled in public school should have the opportunity to take the same classes online, free of charge. Public school should not be the only option for education.
Twilight by Megan S. (Class of 2022)
The Twilight program and other alternative programs are helpful for many individuals for all sorts of reasons. For me personally, the Twilight program was extremely helpful due to my medical conditions and my safety. I loved going to in person schooling and seeing people I was close with and interacting one on one with teachers and actually being able to ask questions, but dealing with passing out and heart issues–that wasn’t safe. I had to choose between barely going to classes or taking care of my health. I chose my health because my family knows how to address something if it were to happen at home as where the school might not know. I also loved the Twilight Program because it worked more with my schedule. I got to go at my own pace and wasn’t rushed. It was easier to teach myself than having someone else try to teach me. I loved the independency of the program and how helpful the teachers who were running it helped. One other thing I loved about the Twilight Program was that I had a few credits left I needed to graduate, and I didn’t have to sit in a classroom for 8 hours a day to get those credits. I would strongly recommend this program to people who are struggling with schooling and are almost done, are having medical, family, transportation issues and much more.
Twilight by Kiki Salazar (Class of 2020)
When everyone thinks of school they always think about a traditional high school waking up at 7:00 to be ready and at the bus by 7:45 and to school by 8:00 going to 4 different classes every other day and getting out of school around 3:00. But for people like me it isn’t ideal to go to a school with this schedule.
Going from middle school to high school I always thought that it was going to be as easy as it was for my sisters but it didn’t take me very long to realize that it was going to be a little more difficult. Starting high school as a freshman was already a little terrifying and on top of that trying to keep up your grades and missing a lot of school wasn’t a good combination. During my freshman year I was really sick so I always had doctor’s appointments. I would have to stay after school and go in early mornings to make up tests or to relearn a unit to take a test. It was very stressful. This is the biggest thing that made me realize it wasn’t going to be easy because it was just the beginning.
My sophomore year did not get much better. This is the year that my niece was born. I pictured being an aunt way different from reality. I thought it was going to be like how I see my aunts, seeing them on special occasions or going to the movies, getting our nails done and other fun activities. But for me it wasn’t like that. We still had good memories and fun times it was just a little more hands on. I was 16 years old helping my parents raise my niece. This meant watching her when they were at work and taking her places I had to go. This also meant having a schedule around her because she needed someone to take care of her. That’s why I enrolled in the Twilight Program, to be able to give my niece the care that she needs.
The Twilight Program made a big impact in my life. Before I found this program, as you can tell school was a difficult time for me. The Twilight Program is important for kids like me because it helps us be able to graduate no matter the circumstances we are in. They support you and provide one-on-one help to make sure you reach your goal. This was a big change in my life because if I wouldn’t have found this program I wouldn’t have been able to provide care for my niece and graduate on time.
Being a part of this program made me realize that I could reach my goal of finishing school on my own schedule thanks to the Twilight Program.
Twilight is important because it provides the leeway to accomplish more at your own pace. It gives people the opportunity of having a job and going to school at the same time because it doesn’t take up 8 hours of the day.
Not all kids have great home lives where their parents will pay for everything they ask for. Some kids have to take a big responsibility in becoming an adult at a young age due to their needs. This can lead to them having to drop out of school in order to get a full time job to support their families and themselves. That’s when Twilight becomes a lifesaver for some kids.
Everyone deserves the chance of graduating high school. Twilight helps many people because of the effort the teachers are putting in to make sure you will graduate on time. I feel safe whenever I come in to work at my own pace because regular public high school will sometimes push you too far out of your comfort zone which causes anxiety. It’s good to know here at Twilight the teachers care about how you are doing outside of school with no judgement. You are human here, and you are allowed to make mistakes.
Twilight has given a lot of nonprivileged kids a way to finally have a chance of getting an education and having enough time to handle stuff that’s outside of school. I am mentally happy with the way I am working on my education because I can take control of my time management instead of it being set in stone. I also feel safe at home working on my education because I have no distractions from other students.
I am so thankful for being a part of the Twilight Program because they have really helped me take control of my education.
Twilight gives us another opportunity to engage ourselves in our education and get the help we deserve. It gives us students the chance to get away from high school nonsense, and it gives us a chance to keep our jobs and attend to our personal matters as well.
I’ve noticed that teachers are more willing to help when they see students making more of an effort, but it’s really hard to notice who needs the most help when you have a classroom full of thirty or more students. A lot of times us students are too nervous to even ask for help because we think our peers will judge us.
Twilight gives us the chance to work hard and prove ourselves that we can do it. Not every student is on the same page. When the teacher moves on, many students are still struggling and it’s difficult to ask the teacher to explain the subject even more when the rest of the class is ready to move on. These programs help us work on our own pace, and it gives us the opportunity to get the one-on-one help we seek.
Most times students prefer working in a smaller environment, and for some students like myself, the online classes can be easier to understand. Twilight really gives me the chance to work slowly and actually learn the subject.
It also makes me happy that the Twilight teachers give me their attention because it really shows they care about us even when we’re behind. They give it their all to teach us so we can find a way to succeed. – Manuel A. Sandoval-Hidalgo (Class of 2020)
Why are alternative high school programs important? No two people are exactly alike. So why should our schools be. Especially when it comes to learning strategies. Without alternative programs such as Twilight, so many people would just fall through the cracks. Alternative high school programs are flexible with schedules and the way you learn. They really try to help give back to the community.
Taking Twilight is allowing me to work full time while i’m getting the credits I need to graduate. I was very close to not having any other choice, but to get my GED. Luckily for programs such as Twilight, getting my GED wasn’t my only option. Twilight allows plenty of time to sleep, work 8 hour days and get my school work done.
These programs are very versatile because you can learn in many different ways. You can come in at 4 to 5 PM Monday through Thursday to work on your classes as often as you want. Or if that doesn’t work for you than you can work online and only come in as needed. Signing in online saves me from coming in from work on days that traffic is really bad. That kind of flexibility and willingness is what’s helping me graduate.
Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without Twilight. Twilight helped me so much!! I’m so grateful to have you guys, for helping me become a high school graduate.
Kaleb Bickford (Class of 2020)
Not everyone is meant to fit into the same box. People need different ways to learn; otherwise they may never graduate at all. Without programs like Twilight so many people just like me would never get this second chance at graduating. What better way to give back to the community than to give everyone a more equal start on life.
“Thank you so much for your help. I loved this program. Twilight is such an amazing program!” — Cecilia Romero (Class of 2017)
It’s funny sometimes in life you think you have everything figured out. Everything is going just right. At least you think it is. It was my junior year of high school at Rex Putnam High; freshman and sophomore year had flown right by. I suddenly found out that I was lacking credits needed for graduation. I was tremendously upset.
On my way home that day I found myself thinking about dropping out. My mind was so stressed from thinking about how my life would be if I decided to no longer continue my education. When a friend of mine mentioned New Urban High School’s after-school program, I decided to check it out. After being more deeply informed about the classes, my mind was made. I would finish my diploma at New Urban’s Twilight Program.
Mr. Winch, an English teacher at New Urban, is supervising, enrolling, and providing help for all the students currently trying to better themselves and obtain their diplomas. Mr. Winch to me is not just a supervisor. He is the perfect example of how nothing is impossible. He came up from the bottom and does the best at inspiring and motivating all the kids. Mr. Winch has always been of great help to me ever since the beginning. He has provided all the help possible for me to succeed in all my classes.
I truly believe more students would be more successful if there were more teachers like Mr. Winch.
Twilight by Erika Quintanilla
New Urban High School provides a program called Twilight. The classes are online, and for those who have jobs, have children or attend New Urban, the Twilight program is very beneficial. Schools throughout Oregon may not care about the 32% of students who did not graduate, or maybe these schools just do not know how to help them. New Urban is one of the few schools to step up and reach out to those students.
Oregon has one of the lowest high school graduation rates (Governing). Since 2010 through 2013, only 68% of Oregon students graduate high school, while Maryland, Kansas, and Nebraska remain on the top of the rankings by keeping their rates above 83% since 2010. Meanwhile Oregon ranks 49th, almost at the bottom in the nation.
Oregon may have the lowest rates but they’re not going to increase without alternative programs such as Twilight. The Twilight program is the way to go if you have a busy schedule or do not like high school.
Everyone deserves the chance to finish high school and feel proud of themselves. Twilight provides that. You are able to access your online classes whenever you have time. Also, Monday-Thursday from 4-6pm there’s a classroom where you can get help from the teachers that are there to help pass your online classes. The teachers are great, helpful and supportive.
With programs such as Twilight we can increase North Clackamas District graduation rates. If we can increase these rates, then other districts can use our example and increase Oregon’s graduation rates.
Source: Governing online magazine. www.governing.com/gov-data/high-school-graduations-rates-by-state.html
Randy Ostorga (Class of 2017)
“Twilight helped me finish high school so I could set a good example to the people around me. Also it helped me increase my knowledge about everything. The teachers at Twilight were helpful and a big part of my success.”
“Before coming to Twilight, I attended 3 different high schools. The maturity level of other students was low and teachers were pushy, hovering over my shoulder while I was trying to get work done. Twilight allowed me to come in at a later time which is perfect for my schedule. Teachers were very helpful, but not too pushy. The program teaches responsibility, and self motivation.” Daisy (Twilight Graduate)
Along with Mr. Winch, Twilight also has a great teacher’s assistant–Ms. Waggoner. She is a great example of a good teacher. First of all, she is so helpful. Every time a student asks for help she’s willing to help you comprehend your assignment. Secondly, she is really smart. The students in Twilight work different classes and she’s always able to help the kids pass their classes. Lastly, she is an amazing person. She’s the type of teacher who will sit down with you and won’t let you give up on yourself. Regardless if you’re a student or teacher she’ll give the same respect. We need more teachers that will push you to be a better person even when it seems impossible at times, and thankfully Ms. Waggoner is one of those teachers.
Jaxon Bremmer (Class of 2017)
“Twilight provided me the opportunity to work in the evening for the credits I needed. I was able to quickly get through the work because I had taken these classes in the past and already knew the information. I just had to prove that I knew the information, which is how I think school should be! Thank you for this opportunity.”
Twilight helped me pass multiple classes, and I have learned more at Twilight than at all of my other schools I have attended. I have finished classes that I didn’t pass in my other high schools. At my other high schools, I knew too many people and would talk too much and ignore my work. More hours could improve Twilight. Having Twilight a little longer would help get more work done for all of us students, but Twilight has been really helpful and I can’t think of anything negative about it. Twilight is important because I get to graduate and do what I always wanted to do: fighting wildfires. — Austin Lively
“During my first week during senior year at Benson High, I had to choose to stay and not graduate, or leave everything and start fresh in a new school. It was not an easy decision, though it was a bit common sense to what I should do. I didn’t do well my sophomore and junior year, so I knew I would have a lot to catch up on. It was time to quit working and put my studies first, so I would not get distracted or procrastinate and blame it on work like I have the past years. In the end, I knew what was best for me so I can proceed to be successful in life. I would finish school at Twilight. It was a bit hard leaving things undone at Benson, but I would only get one foot away from the finish line if I stayed. In this lane, I will pass the finish line.” — Jarely (Class of 2017)
I decided to attend Twilight because I wanted the freedom to get classes done in a timely manner. Without teachers telling me what to do, Twilight made me more independent. I get the work done on my own time. I have achieved more than just getting credit: I’ve learned to motivate myself without teachers hovering. Twilight is easier to attend because there are not as many students and teachers distracting me. Expanding Twilight hours would be a good idea. — Brenton Groth
I’m very thankful for your program and staff!! Without this program my daughter would not be getting her diploma which is the stepping stone to a successful career. Your staff not only helps with school work but also assists and supports my daughter with life obstacles. Several times throughout the year, my daughter received encouragement and positive feedback which made her excited about school and gave her the desire to work hard. I was kept in the loop with her progress also which helped me encourage and support her with her education goals.
This program and staff is truly a blessing to us and we are very thankful for it and you all!! Keep up the good work and we will see you next year!
New Urban High School provides the Twilight Program. Not many schools offer a program like this, with all the great help from the teachers. This program helps students who have jobs or children. It also benefits students who need a smaller environment.
With the program being in the evening, 4 days a week there are so many benefits. The program provides the opportunity for the students to get employment or volunteer experience during the morning. This gives students the opportunity to get their career started without having to worry about it interfering with school.
Secondly, Twilight helps students who have children. Some students have the issue of worrying about a babysitter, or having to wait until their parents get off work to be able to do anything. With that being said, a lot of high school students drop out for the sake of their children. So that’s where the Twilight Program comes in. Twilight is only two hours so the mom or dad doesn’t have to be away from their child for long. This makes it possible for young parents to graduate.
With the Twilight Program, students are able to work in a quiet environment, with help when they need it. The Twilight room has about 10 students tops. With everyone being here for similar reasons, it is one of the most peaceful school environments I’ve experienced.
Everyone deserves to feel comfortable at school and not every school recognizes that. With the Twilight Program, everybody has a chance to graduate and succeed in life.