Alisha Menon

ORCA student Alisha dancing in a performance Photo by David Kinder

Alisha Menon is a 2015 Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) graduate. She’s from Washington county and her younger brother, Avish, is also an ORCA grad. At ORCA, Alisha was able to pursue her artistic passions while still receiving a high quality education. Alisha’s mother, Anita, shares her story below.

“Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) gave our children amazing opportunities and put them on paths that we never imagined would be possible for them. Alisha was surprised that she could complete her coursework as fast as she wanted. Her ORCA courses kept her motivated and interested.

The teachers and counselors were so supportive of both of our children and have always found a way to make everything accomplishable. Our whole family agrees that joining ORCA was the best decision that we ever made.”

Alisha scored very high on the SAT test: 800 on reading, 770 on Math, and 800 on writing—that put her in the top 1% nationally. She says ORCA helped her learn to be self-motivated, challenged her to take advanced courses, and gave her a strong foundation for college, where she is now pursuing a PhD in Electrical Engineering.

Watching her parents run their own businesses encouraged Alisha to create a local "Youth Entrepreneurship Program"(TYE) for high school students as part of a larger non-profit business networking organization.

The dedicated teachers at Oregon Connections Academy are one of the things Alisha liked most about the school. Alisha says, "One night I had a quick question about a math assignment so I emailed my teacher. Within five minutes the teacher not only responded to my email, but also called my cell phone to make sure I didn't have any other questions. All my teachers and counselors gave me this same support and encouragement. It has been amazing for me and I will always be grateful to all my teachers and counselors for opening doors for me that I never imagined existed."

Our whole family agrees that joining ORCA was the best decision that we ever made.
— Alisha’s mom