During the first semester of my junior year at Dayton High School, I wrote a personal story for Dayton’s school blog where I reflected on my involvement in a class called Design Challenge.

Unbeknown to me, this article would become the catalyst for a hugely significant point in my high school career.

Design Challenge project, first semester

At the start of the second semester of my junior year, I was placed in an English class called Sports Literature. Sports: a subject I have utterly no interest in. I lacked any connection to this class and immediately, my frustration grew. I asked myself why I was stuck here. I tried to find something even remotely exciting about the curriculum that awaited me. Language Arts classes usually seemed to pose a limitless potential for me as a writer but in this class, I was completely out of place.

Principle Jami Fluke and English teacher Sherri Sinicki quickly recognized my discomfort. They knew me on a personal level and understood that my placement in that class was awkward. It didn’t match who I was as a writer or an individual. They knew that, as a student, I deserved to have a Language Arts experience that would have a positive impact on my education. So they quickly collaborated to sketch up a personalized plan for me. Then, with no specific structure, they helped me pilot my own independent English class.

This class is what allowed me to write Innovate Dayton articles instead of participating in a standard Language Arts class. As my educational exploration expanded, so did my interest.

I became a writer for Innovate Dayton. To support me, I teamed with Mic Cooney, a social media manager at OnlineNW, as my writing mentor. He helped me revise my articles and taught me the format, preparing me with everything I needed to become a successful blogger. This period posed many unfamiliar writing challenges for me and, in all honesty, it was full of missteps and failures. But it was full of learning as well. Though it was difficult, it was a crucial step in my learning process.

Before my junior year was over, I had a meeting at the school with managers from OnlineNW. They offered me a position as an OnlineNW writing intern. I knew this internship would present many amazing opportunities for me to fortify the quality of my writing, as well as experience a real work environment.

It was so refreshing for me to be given such a special chance to do something personally impactful for my life and education.

As an intern, I continued writing articles for Innovate Oregon during the summer. During this coming school year, I will help pave the way for other students interested in becoming Innovate bloggers. I am honored and thrilled to take on a leadership role for my own growth as a writer, as well as the growth of other students like me.

I know that my senior year will be a time of development for me as a leader. Although I will be somewhat winging this new leadership role, I look forward to meeting with the other students that are eager to kickstart their roles as bloggers and help write Dayton School District’s brilliant story.

Bevin Schrag Administrator

Bevin Schrag is a writer for Innovate Oregon. While working in social media and marketing at OnlineNW, she is currently studying the arts at Chemeketa Community College, to later become a media designer.