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Grace Westercamp

Grace with her horse

Grace Westercamp is a graduate of Iowa Connections Academy (IACA). She lives with her parents and five younger siblings in Farmington, Iowa. As a former homeschool student, Grace appreciated being able to participate in IACA extracurricular activities and continue her involvement in 4-H while she pursued a high-quality education. Grace shares her story below.

“My dad first heard about Iowa Connections Academy, and he thought it would be a good idea to try it out. Before enrolling in IACA, I was homeschooled. My sister and I were both IACA students, and my brothers were homeschooled.

What I liked most about Iowa Connections Academy was getting to work at my own pace. I also had the opportunity to be involved in many different extracurricular activities. Through Connections Academy, I was a member of the Book Club, the Pens and Lens Club, The Monitor newspaper staff, and was named section co-editor of The Monitor!

My favorite subjects at IACA were English and Spanish. I loved that I could work ahead on my assignments if I knew I will be gone for a rabbit show, 4-H workshop, or doctor’s appointment. The teachers were very nice and available if I had any questions or need help.

Outside of school, I served as president of the Jolly Trio 4-H Club in Van Buren County. Through 4-H, I took educational presentations to the Iowa State Fair and enjoyed livestock judging, classical literature, public speaking, hippology, and horse quiz bowl. I also got my first horse. In addition, I showed hogs at the Van Buren County Fair and was named the 2012 Van Buren County Fair Junior Miss.

One of my other interests is raising rabbits, which I’ve done for years. I was able to attend the National American Rabbit Breeders Convention in 2010, 2011, and 2012. I was a member of the 2012 Team Iowa Intermediate team which placed second in intermediate team judging. I was also named third runner-up American Rabbit Breeders Association Duchess.

My favorite part of the rabbit hobby would have to be showmanship. I love being able to tell the judges everything I know about my rabbit. I also really enjoy writing comments for judges—I learn so much! I can see how the judge places a breed that I don’t have, and why he or she placed the breed that way.”

What I liked most about Iowa Connections Academy was getting to work at my own pace. I also had the opportunity to be involved in many different extracurricular activities.
— Grace