William has been a student at Sora since May 2020. He dreams of starting his own business one day and shares how Sora is preparing him to turn that dream into a reality.
John: Welcome, William. Let’s start with what originally drew you to Sora.
William: I originally found out about Sora when my mom and I were going to an event. We were looking for a new venue for homeschooling. The original pitch that got us hooked was that there was a lot of flexibility and that you could learn anything you want, any time you want.
John: What was attractive about the flexibility?
William: At the time I was pursuing professional gaming, and the timing of practices wasn’t consistent. With public school, eight hours a day is too much time. With the ability to be flexible and focus on the things I needed to, it was really beneficial at the time. It’s just extremely useful because now, instead of having a set schedule, I can make my own schedule. It teaches you how to make your own schedule like when you’re older and don’t have school or your parents making your schedule for you.
John: You also mentioned the appeal of learning about things that you’re interested in. Could you say more about that?
William: Prior to joining Sora, I was doing research on better ways of education with mastery-based learning. Knowing that Sora used mastery-based learning really attracted me. Also in public school we get taught a lot of things that we’re never really going to use. I think we should pay attention to the things that we want to learn that we’re going to use in the future. So the fact that at Sora we can really hone in on what we’re interested in and what we think is going to be useful was really attractive.
John: So cutting out the nonsense, not learning as much stuff that you’re not going to use in the future, but allowing you to be more specialized and focused.
William: Yeah, exactly.
John: What did your schooling background look like before Sora?
William: I was in public school up until eighth grade. I didn’t realize this at the time because I had always been in public school, but now that I’m at Sora, I realize how important it is to have a positive community. For me, such a big roadblock in public school was the community: how you interact with other kids and the drama. You know, what other students are going to say and what other students think about you. There was a lot of stress in how you interact with other people. There would be a lot of problems with differentiating hierarchies between grades.
At Sora, there’s basically none of that.
John: So the kind of people that you’ve come across at Sora, it sounds like they’ve been very supportive to you. Are there any highlights you want to share from the academic side of Sora?
William: One of the most positive things is the career tracks. Speaking to the social side of it–I’m in the Engineering Track–being around people that are like me and think like me and are dealing with the same problems, talking with them on a regular basis is fulfilling.
John: How would you explain the Engineering Track to someone who isn’t familiar with it?
William: Someone had the idea to take projects and make them more industry-oriented. Instead of having your projects about anything you want, they’re specific to an industry. They put you in these tracks, which are basically a channel and a schedule where you meet two times a week. You meet with Track Advisors, which are experts in your particular field. With the Engineering Track, we have one software engineer and one mechanical engineer. With that, we’re able to ask questions, receive feedback, and heighten our project experience.
John: That’s really cool that you get to work with people who are in the industry you’re interested in. Are there any highlights you’d like to share from your Engineering Track experience?
William: So I learned CAD. CAD is an abbreviation for Computer Assisted Design. It’s software that you can use to make objects to manufacture. This was a skill that I got so much return on. So it was really awesome that I got to learn that.
John: What does knowing CAD allow you to do now?
William: One of the things that’s been helping me the past two months has been 3D printing. I can make whatever I want in CAD, print it, and physically have whatever I made in CAD. So you can make anything you want. That opens up the projects you can do to pretty much anything. Instead of having to order a part, you can just make it. I’m also really big into business and product development, so 3D printing is something that I had to learn to develop products.
John: In terms of your aspirations to start a business, has your time at Sora given you clarity for how to do that?
William: It’s helped me tenfold. The flexibility in how Sora operates is much closer to how the real world operates. With all the support you have at Sora, it’s amazing how far you can get. And the fact that you can connect with students with similar interests has been really helpful.
Interested In Learning More?
By Fall 2021, we will be offering Career Tracks for Engineering, Design, Writing and Literature, Entrepreneurship, Health Sciences, and more. If you’d like to learn more about our innovative high school program, click here to speak with our admissions team.