Zuriel Elise Oduwole
Elise Oduwole is a high school student at California Connections Academy. The flexible schedule Elise enjoys as a Connections Academy student enabled her to travel to Africa, where she interviewed political leaders for a video documentary that won sixth place in a statewide contest. Below, Elise shares her story in her own words.
"I like attending school from home because I can see my family all the time and ask them questions. I can ask both my mom, who is an information technology specialist, and my dad, who is a policy advisor. They always have different opinions, which is very good, so I can see things differently.
What I like best about Connections Academy is having many students from many areas with many different ideas. Also, because we go to school online, I learn much more about computers, using online tools, and how to do an online conference. It is also very good to hear other students’ feedback on our work and lessons. It is really cool. I also like that we get to go on field trips and meet up with the other students regularly.
I always like challenges, so I signed up for National History Day Club as an elective. I found the topic of revolution interesting, and when I began to research, it became even more exciting. There are many types of revolution, and revolutions have happened in different places around the world. I looked at Africa, which has had many revolutions. President Obama visited Ghana in 2009, and I wanted to know why Ghana was so special. I saw that Ghana had many revolutions, and that got me even more excited.
My dad travels a lot and was planning a trip to Africa. I thought, ‘If I could go to Ghana, that would be cool,’ so I wrote to the two former presidents about their roles in Ghana’s success and revolution, and I asked for interviews—and they said yes! I went to Ghana with my dad and interviewed both presidents for my documentary. Being able to take a trip like that is a huge advantage of attending my school.
My favorite subjects are social studies and math. Social studies allows me to study and understand different people and cultures. Math allows me to understand buildings, shapes, and weights, and I like to build windmills and other moving objects, using small mechanical sets. Hopefully I will be able to use history to understand why people built things in the olden days , so I can try to improve on them."
Zuriel Elise recently launched her latest project, Dream Up, Stand Up, Speak Up, which encourages young girls in Africa to accomplish their dreams in education. She continues to create documentaries in which she interviews prominent African leaders and aspires to one day become the President of the United States so that she can change the world.
What I like best about Connections Academy is having many students from many areas with many different ideas. It is also very good to hear other students’ feedback on our work and lessons. I also like that we get to go on field trips and meet up with the other students regularly.