Tailored Education

Source: pixabay.com

I have been aware of the Praxis program since about 2015. My dad told me about the program after listening to an episode of the Tom Woods Show where Isaac Morehouse was the guest. It sounded fantastic. I could skip college, learn a lot, and get a job that normally would “require” a degree? Heck yes, sign me up!

Of course, I was only fifteen, so it was too soon for me to apply. (Now they have a teen program which would have been perfect.)

Around the same time, my parents learned about the Liberty University EDGE program, an online dual-enrollment program to graduate high school with an AA. I wasn’t entirely sure what my aim in life was, so I agreed it was a great opportunity.

So started my college journey.

I was almost sixteen and enrolled in college classes alongside 18–20s and older students returning to continue their education. I learned a lot about the subjects and learned that having strict deadlines helps me accomplish things. It was better than the Bob Jones University homeschool program only in that it was “more important” to my future. I strove for good grades and succeeded in that. In two years I had one B.

But what good is that grade in the real world?

In January 2017 or maybe December 2016 I applied to Praxis. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after I graduated. I had no direction and felt like I was about to be very lost. Praxis seemed to have the gleam of helping me discover my direction or cultivate it.

I didn’t get in. So I asked what I could do to improve my prospects for a future application, because I knew I was going to apply again. I was told to do some month-long personal development projects.

Come graduation, I needed to find a job. I owed my parents money for my car, and had to do something. I couldn’t sit around the house all day everyday doing whatever I pleased with no notion of the real world.

It was time to put my AA to the test. I crafted my resume, doing my best to make my meager work experience look appealing and emphasizing my early high school graduation plus AA.

I applied to a lot of jobs through Indeed. I didn’t hear back from any of them.

I widened my search to include retail stores near me. Still nothing.

I didn’t want to, but I decided I needed to expand my applications into food. Starbucks, Chipotle, Panera Bread, and more.

Chipotle contacted me for an interview. My first job interview ever, my second interview counting my application to Praxis. I did my best to prepare. It was a group interview, which I hadn’t expected. I didn’t do very well and didn’t get the job.

I got a call from Panera Bread asking if I was still interested in working there. Yes! That interview went far better, one-on-one instead of a group. Partway in, the manager was already talking like I got the job! I worked at Panera from the last week of May 2017 til August 2018.

My AA didn’t help. I could have worked fast food without it.

In August 2017 I got a second job in order to afford my car payment and insurance (which wasn’t a lot but I didn’t make a lot working about 15 hours a week at $8.50/hr minus tax). Again, my AA didn’t help. I accepted a position at Walmart after an otherwise unfruitful job search.

That experience drove home what I already knew: College did not guarantee a good job, or even just a better job than Panera Bread or Walmart.

In late October 2017, Praxis announced a homeschool scholarship for applicants in the next month. I hadn’t known when I would re-apply, but this was it. Not a “now or never,” but “the time is now.” Why wait any longer? I had the possibility of getting a free-ride for a cheap and net zero program tuition. Heck yes, sign me up!

The application process had changed since my previous attempt (and has since changed again). I remembered some of what they’d asked for before and provided that in addition to what they were currently asking for. There were a few steps: The initial paper application, a video interview with time limits for how long to spend on each question, and a live video interview.

In the end, I was accepted.

I have been part of the Praxis community since January 2018 and part of the Praxis program since this August.

In that time, I worked on projects that take steps towards my goals. I started a blog with a friend. I moved my website from Weebly to Wordpress in June, and in July I started a personal blog.

When the program started, I improved my website and LinkedIn and created a pitch deck. I’m crafting my web presence and how I portray myself to others. I’m building a signal to attract the types of work I want.

While everyone does similar work throughout the program, it is customizable and tailored to each of our goals and what we aim to get out of the program. We are crafting our direction and deliverables to use the program to get where we want to be. We’re learning the tools to make the life we want.

It’s the same base material with so many directions and outcomes.

We are learning to shape our futures.

That is far more valuable than a college degree.