Johnathan Andrews is an eighth-grade student currently taking college-level courses at ANSEP’s new Acceleration High School in Palmer. His ANSEP story began two summers ago when he participated in his first Middle School Academy. Always a quiet student, Johnathan spent a summer living on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus with his ANSEP peers building computers and balsa wood bridges, and this opened his eyes to opportunities available with the program.
“It was really fun to live in college dorms with all my friends,” Johnathan said. “It gave me a glimpse at what college life would be like in the future.”
As a current Acceleration High School student, Johnathan is well on his way toward earning a college degree, taking advanced classes he says weren’t offered to him at other schools. One of his favorite courses is college-level Athabascan because he gets to learn about the language and culture of his ancestors.
“I wanted to take the course because I’m Athabascan, and it’s important to learn about our culture,” Johnathan said. “Even though I’m learning a different type of Athabascan language, the course is really helpful.”
Today, ANSEP is helping Johnathan break out of his shell through hands-on, innovative curriculum that focuses on problem solving and team building in a small-class setting that upholds ANSEP’s family-like atmosphere. Johnathan isn’t sure exactly what career he wants to pursue, but he says he enjoys taking STEM courses and plans on continuing with ANSEP components in the future.