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Student Essays

Every so often, we will be updating this sight with a current writing sample from one of our Venture students. It might be a paragraph, a poem, song or an essay. Our students’ interests are varied, their styles and genre pieces are illustrative of their unique differences and individuality. Enjoy!! 



Mackenzie Vasquez

Kathy Dillingham


April 1, 2013

Persuasive Essay: Venture’s Independent Study

            Whenever someone asks, “You go to Venture?” with a judging tone, it’s somewhat of a low-blow to the self esteem. However many, if not all, people who judge students that go to Venture don’t know why they choose to do independent study in the first place. From personal experience, I prefer Venture over Cal High, but students at Cal High don’t understand why. There is a stereotypical image of a Venture student as a drug-user high school dropout that is failing every class. In fact, I used to think that too. But after attending Venture, and meeting the students and staff, I’ve come to believe that it is a better experience than that of Cal. Not only does Venture give students more flexibility to do things outside of school, such as work or travel, but I believe Venture is better because it is a place to get away from bullying at most schools and the credentials of Venture is the same as those of Cal High.

            Personally, I know a student who transferred to Venture for her benefit outside of school. She had the initiative to get three part-time jobs outside of school (working up to almost forty hours a week) to save up for a car and college. Venture gives students like these the flexibility to do what they need to, which would not be possible for them if they did not do independent study. Recently I have had the opportunity to volunteer at an elementary school, which is something in a regular school I would not have the time to do. Not only is it a great experience, but it is also a big help for my college resume. Another benefit of the independent study is for students who travel. Unlike at a school such as Cal High, one would not be constantly missing school, thus falling behind.

            In addition, many high schools, including Cal High, have recently had the issue of bullying become a serious issue. Recently at Cal, I know someone who was constantly made fun of, and who ended up switching to Venture (part-time). Those who bullied him claimed it was “a joke”. However, bullying of any kind is not a joke. From attending Cal High for 3 years and being around the bullying, I’ve noticed that multiple times the admin was either not involved, or did little to nothing to stop it. Within my second week of going to Venture, the bullying that had gone on for quite some time was taken care of. It is clear to me that Venture takes their students’ problems into their own hands; something that a student can appreciate.

            While many people that believe that students who attend Venture have very limited futures, that is not always the case. There are multiple opportunities that go along with Venture, such as being able to catch up on credits or even graduate high school early. The main reason my mother did not want me to switch from Cal High to Venture was because she thought it would ruin my chances of getting into a good four-year college. But after talking to the principal, my mom saw the positives of independent study; and that as long as I stayed on track, I could still go to college like I was planning on. Unlike what many people believe (that Venture limits student’s futures); more often than not that is not the case.

            In conclusion, independent study, such as Venture’s, is not always what everyone expects it to be. Independent study has many positives; it is up to the individual, just as it is those at schools like Cal, to do the work. Venture does not only offer students the flexibility needed and actually put a stop to the student bullying, but it is just as good for many students as any other school (if not better).