Meet Nate! 

Nate has been a student at The Open School since he was 11 years old! Nate is one of the students graduating in 2024 and has completed the two year diploma program. Throughout his time here, he has played a big role in how the schools justice system is operated and put into use. His favorite thing to do at school is serve as the note taker when processing complaints and being a member on the Civics Board committee. These experiences have taught him a lot about how justice systems work and the importance of taking everyone’s complaints seriously. Nate says: “Civics Board is a good system at school and feels pretty fair compared to conventional school.” 

One of his favorite memories from being at The Open School was going on the Grand Canyon field trip with friends and staff! Nate said: “A lot of things went wrong on that trip, at one point the wind was so extreme that our tents broke in the middle of the night,  and we all had to sleep in the van, later, we found it was snowing at the campsite and most of us were very unprepared, having brought mostly light clothes and no gloves. Despite this I still look back on the trip fondly; Working through all of those challenges made for a unique experience, and I felt that my tolerance for adversity had grown by time we got back.”

Another favorite memory of his was him and the two other members of the diploma program traveling to New York City for their adventure. He enjoyed exploring the ins and outs of the city, visiting Brooklyn Bridge and spending time in Central Park. Nate said: “My biggest takeaway from this trip was to not get too stressed over the planning and organizing because it all ended up working out in the end.” 

Besides his New York adventure, Nate spent a lot of time and effort creating his capstone project. His project was to design his very own personal website! He says: “I thought it would be useful to have my own portfolio website and it took all the skills that I care about and wanted to use.” Being a student at The Open School and a member of the diploma program offered Nate multiple opportunities to take on more responsibility. He was able to come to an understanding on how he learns and how can be productive and independent on his own. Nate says: “Doing the diploma program tested my ability to plan ahead because it was a very different experience working with a deadline.” His advice to anyone considering joining the diploma program is: “Start your work early and do not procrastinate, the deadline comes sooner than you think.” This was the same advice that was given to him by the last graduating class! 

 Here are Nate’s takeaways from his meetings with his mentor Aaron: 

“During a meeting with my mentor when I was telling him how I had spent a lot of time with my research, and ended up experiencing setbacks, he told me that these setbacks were part of the process, and that by working through them I can find what works for me. That advice shaped how I thought about the effort I had spent on the project so far, and changed my overall approach to how I can be productive.”