Cooper Wooley is a high school student at Pecos Connections Academy. He lives in Lovington, New Mexico, with his family. Cooper attended traditional public school up until the eighth grade, when he chose to do his schooling from home. His mother tells his story below.
"Cooper made this decision because he wasn't getting the help he needed [at his previous school] and the kids [there] were horrible. He wanted to get away from bad influences and stay out of trouble. My husband and I were skeptical at first, but it has worked out wonderfully for our family.
Pecos Connections Academy has been amazing for Cooper. His grades have never been better. He is very active. The best thing about going to Pecos Connections Academy is that it works around his busy motocross racing schedule.
"With Pecos Connections Academy, I can participate in a motocross race anytime I want to and I can also do my school work."
Cooper's favorite subjects in school are science and physical education—science because he likes to experiment with things, and PE because he does a lot of physical training. Cooper's favorite teacher is Mr. Homer. He always encourages Cooper with kind words, and he is there if Cooper needs him for anything. I would say Mr. Homer is a mentor. Cooper loves to see Mr. Homer's messages that just say, 'Hey, Coop!' or 'Good job, Coop!'
With Pecos Connections Academy, Cooper can follow his passion for motocross! He is very serious about his racing, and he's very focused when on the track. Pecos Connections Academy's personalized attention and flexible schedule allows Cooper to travel for his sport! He has raced in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and New Mexico. He puts a lot of effort and time into his sport and has become well-known in the motocross circuit. He's gained such great sportsmanship through his experiences.
At only 5 years old, Cooper lost his 16-year-old brother, Caleb Wooley, to a drowning accident. When Cooper decided to participate in motocross racing at the age of 10, he decided to race with Caleb's number. He has raced number 99 ever since he started!
Cooper also rides with his brother's memorial sticker and will tell you that he has a guardian angel riding with him and keeping him safe. Before each race he performs the same routine with his dad; Cooper bows his head and says a prayer while crossing his chest and pointing up to the sky to his brother.
One race I will never forget was in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Cooper raced very hard, and on the last lap his friend had a wreck close to the finish line. Cooper couldn't see what was ahead of him, and all of a sudden he went flying into the air. In a split second, his bike just shifted and he missed the riders and landed in first place! Cooper was mad and upset. Everyone was running up to him to congratulate him, but he had no idea he had just won first place! We are sure his guardian angel was with him that day.
Pecos Connections Academy is unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar school in that it allows Cooper to learn at his own pace, something he really appreciates. He can get up and do things without having to ask permission, [as he would have to do] in a classroom setting. He can go eat when he wants, and he has pretty much his own schedule. Cooper focuses better at home because there are no interruptions at all.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Cooper went to Houston with his brother-in-law to take supplies for the relief effort. He sent us pictures of what he saw. Cooper is so grateful to have his home and his family, because many people lost everything to the storm.
After graduation Cooper wants to attend a trade school to become a mechanic for motocross bikes. He eventually wants to pursue a career in motocross racing and become a pro. When I asked Cooper, 'What do you love about Pecos Connections Academy?' he said, 'I can go race anytime I want to and can do my work also.'"