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Naomi Smith

ORCA student Jeannette at a desk

Naomi is a 2012 graduate from Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA). She lives in Baker City, Oregon. Naomi was able to enjoy school more with the help of ORCA’s engaging lessons and still participate in her various musical hobbies. Naomi shares her story below.

"I first heard about ORCA from my mom, who is currently a teacher there. I thought that ORCA would be cool because I could work ahead, and I wouldn’t be stuck in a classroom bored all day. I was really looking for a challenge. I had been interested in attending ORCA for about a year, but one thing kept holding me back—music. I play the French horn, I play cornet for a jazz band, and I sing in the choir. I didn’t know if the school would let me take those music classes. I finally decided to enroll in ORCA and I was still able to take band class, I loved it!

I love playing my French horn, taking pictures, and hanging out with my friends. I also enjoy reading and spoiling my cat, Juniper. My favorite subject in school was history because it was a fun class and I really liked my teacher. I also liked that my mom is a teacher, because she’s really good at math and science. If it’s after-school hours and I need help, I can ask her. I’ve had some friends come up to me and ask me if I was going to go back to my old school next year, and I replied ‘no’ because I learned so much at ORCA and loved it!

In the future, I want to do something with music and science, maybe become a rocket scientist!” Naomi had plenty of options for higher education—she was accepted by all of the eight colleges where she applied.

I learned so much at ORCA and loved it!
— Naomi