Abigail Thelen

Graduate Student

Abigail Thelen is a graduate student of Minnesota Connections Academy. At Minnesota Connections Academy, she was able to participate in many enjoyable activities without falling behind in her schoolwork, and learned with supportive and kind teachers. Abigail shares more about her experience at Minnesota Connections Academy below.

“I loved the flexibility, teachers, classmates, and opportunities at Minnesota Connections Academy. When I tell people about how online school works, they’re always surprised that I got all the benefits of a bricks-and-mortar school while still getting flexibility with my schedule. I had amazing teachers—I just can’t stop saying good things about them! They were always willing to help me, and they all worked hard to form a personal relationship with me, which is something not many other high school kids can say about their teachers. I loved math and science, but the wonderful teachers at Connections Academy opened me up to loving more subjects—They all wanted me to LEARN, not to just get good grades.

My classmates were really awesome too! It was cool to have friends from all over Minnesota. I liked that we could still get together on field trips or call each other online anytime. There were several Minnesota Connections Academy field trips per month in every part of Minnesota. They were a great way to hang out with my friends while doing something fun like rollerblading or exploring the science museum.

I was also on Student Council at Connections, and it was so fun to observe this school from that perspective. I loved my Student Council advisors, who were so kind and amazing. Outside of school, I volunteered at a retirement home with my dad to bring the elderly people to their churches. It was a great time to give while getting to talk to my dad (yes, I’m a teenager and I still love my parents). I also ran an after school Lego Robotics class at my old school, which was a ton of fun! I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I went to a bricks-and-mortar high school because I’d have a ton of homework to do and wouldn’t get off in time. I’m also very passionate about singing and acting. I lead the worship for my youth group at church on Wednesdays, and on Sundays, I was involved in a singing and acting group.

I loved Minnesota Connections Academy because the teachers were amazing, I was able to have a flexible schedule to pursue my passions, and I could stay home during the day with my mom.

— Abigail

Minnesota Connections Academy gave me the time to do many things after school, on the weekends, and during the day without being tired and worn out like any other high-schooler would be if they tried to participate in many activities while going to a traditional high school. If I ever missed a day of lessons, I didn’t have to worry because I could always make it up, which was a huge benefit of Connections Academy.

I plan on getting my bachelor’s and master’s degree in math or teaching. Connections Academy really helped me by giving me flexibility while still teaching me the things I needed to know. I didn’t feel at all behind my friends who went to bricks-and-mortar schools. If anything, I felt like I understood the concepts better because I was always able to ask questions, make revisions, and had an overall growth mindset. I’m so grateful for Connections Academy—it helped me to learn, grow, and prepare for the future in such an amazing way!”

Abigail performing