My Approach to Learning and the Essence of Animas High School:
The Final Year: September 4th, 2017 (Senior Year)
My time at Animas is coming to an end and after an eventful summer and internship (learn more about in "College and Career" tab) I am left yearning for something more and something challenging. I have reached the point I am ready to leave my beloved school and town to seek opportunity and make some change in the world, which is why the college application process is locked in my mind; I am satisfied with the legacy that I have left at Animas and I am interested to see what else I will leave throughout my senior year. In 10th grade, I established the Coalition of the Willing club, which came out of a project focused on redecorating the school and turned into a school club that recently transformed the entire school and is working to bring greenery into the buildings. I also worked fervently to bring back the community service club that died my 10th grade year, Interact, that now has over 20 dedicated members. Now, I am still apart of those clubs, but my main focus is establishing future leadership in my school by heading the ambassador program and restructuring it so that students take a greater role in the school other than tours and shadows. I am hoping that the future of Animas consists of strong leaders and students that care about each other and environment just as my class did. I have my eyes on a few shy students and I am ready to give them the opportunity to lead just as I was given in 9th grade when senior Marley urged me to become an ambassador. I'm melancholy to say that this is my last year and I will soon have to leave my Animas family, yet I am excited to see what the future holds since I have so much more to experience outside of my tiny school and sleepy mountain town. I'm ready to spread my osprey wings and fly off from our secluded nest to see the world and work towards making the changes that are too big for Durango...
Why I Chose Animas High School: August 22nd, 2016 (Junior Year)
My hands, slowly shaking, hesitantly opened the door to the large elementary school adorned with dimly lit artwork. Each teacher I walked passed flashed a vague look of sympathy my way. I was there for a volunteer opportunity that occurred during school hours to help "academically troubled" kids and many rumors of how challenging my assigned student had instilled great fear in me. He was only nine and had inhabited eight different towns and the traditional educational system had already failed him. He was the kid that had great potential but asked too many questions, couldn't connect with the pieces of papers that were called lessons, and got in trouble for his inability to conform to the strict norms that were set for projects. Every teacher mistook his curiosity as rebellion. I quickly learned this kid was me. With the two months of tutoring I had before his family relocated yet again, I retaught him every lesson he couldn't grasp by giving him the basics and setting him free to explore the depths of the content with a project. I encouraged moonshot thinking and said that failure was an option which yielded much criticism from his teachers. The first independent project he dreamed up was making a clock combine his new knowledge of angles and 2-D shapes where he spent hours of his free time building. The concepts he couldn't even understand became, not an innate understanding, but a living idea that took form. There was a natural rise in his grades and rather than becoming the "perfect student" that did only as told, he was an innovator. Through my schooling at Animas, I've become an innovator. I am not afraid to fail and I embrace the challenges I encounter. Animas taught me success isn't found by memorizing information and applying it to a test. Success is reached by defying the status quo.
Message from the Creator: September 1st, 2015 (Sophomore year)
Hello and welcome to my Digital Portfolio!
I am a forward thinker who strives to not create something that has already been done, but to harvest my energy in forming something new. I currently attend Animas High School and this website documents all of the stellar projects that I have done here at Animas. It is a requirement for all Animas students to create a Digital Portfolio, but each of us have complete creative freedom over what our DP looks like and what is on it. Speaking for myself, I've spent hours creating my website and making it uniquely me. Some things about me are that I love participating within the local Durango community by donating my time with many local nonprofits. I enjoy past time exploring the Colorado mountains and paddle boarding local lakes and rivers. I love learning and I hope that you can witness my passion through the tremendous time and effort I place within all my projects and this DP.
Thanks for stopping by, Elena Rivera
Why I Chose Animas High School: September 14th, 2014 (Freshman year)
I have always been a hands on learner and it is next to impossible for me to learn any other way. I thrive when I can have creativity within my project. The previous school I went to was also a project based school and based on my previous positive experience at a project based school I knew that I would thrive here at Animas. The school I went to previously was also very small which resulted in a very close knit community and I liked being able to know everybody I went to school with. Much like my previous school, Animas is a small school and that has a culture of excellence that I gravitated towards. Everyone here at Animas was very kind and encouraging and when I was shadowing so many kids helped me even though they didn’t know me. Not only are the students nice, the teachers are amazing. Unlike any other school I have been to, the teachers really make an effort to get to know me as a person and also as a learner. Another reason that I chose Animas was because previous students have done very well and gone to amazing colleges. This appealed to me because I saw how previous students have done at Animas which illustrated to me that Animas High School has great academics.