Oaks Christian senior, Catherine Michael, pursues her passion for philanthropy and aviation while completing her senior year as a blended main campus and online student.
Senior Catherine Michael has received non-profit 501(c)(3) status this week for her charitable organization, Building an Education Foundation. Catie is excited to help the El Tranisto Centro de Artes in Nicaragua as her foundation’s first charitable act. Catie first visited the art center located in a rural fishing village on a week-long mission trip and then, after finding out about their education, employment and environmental missions, re-visited director Julie Sim Edwards to find out what more she could do to help. As a start, Catie’s non-profit will provide a much-needed avenue for charitable donations to the center’s local, annual children’s art competition.
Philanthropy is only one of Catie’s passions; flying is another. Catie has been completing her flight instruction and ground work in order to earn her private pilot’s license this coming February – near her 18th birthday. Catie’s uncle has been giving her lessons in single engine planes and insists she master 70 hours of flying time rather than the usual 45 necessary for the license. “It’s not like getting a driver’s license,” Catie says, “there’s a tremendous amount of information to be memorized, it takes a lot of time, and I’ve had to save up from part-time jobs to afford this expensive hobby. I just started flying last summer, but I’ve always loved airplanes.”
Catie hopes to be an aeronautical engineer and looks forward to beginning her college experience next fall. To that end, Catie has accelerated her learning with a blend of main-campus, online, and dual-enrollment college classes, completing four dual-enrollment courses, through Calculus 2 and Physics 1 at the college level. Oaks Christian, in Westlake Village, CA, offers a prestigious and top-tier main campus education, but they also offer a comprehensive list of online, accredited, and UC approved courses through Oaks Christian Online. Catie has been with the blended program almost since its inception and has helped validate the rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum. Catie says, “I wouldn’t say that working online has made school easier. It’s made me more independent and more responsible for my own learning.”
Vicki Conway, the online high school’s director says this about Catie, “In my 15 years of being both a teacher and a program administrator, I have only seen a few students pursue educational options so successfully. Catie used this alternate method to accelerate her learning and to become more self-aware. She used all the opportunities at her disposal to flourish at Oaks Christian, and she certainly has the fortitude to excel at whatever she puts her mind to. It has been an incredible pleasure to watch Catie navigate her high school experience and to get to know her personally; it’s been one of the highlights of my career.”
The main campus of Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, CA opened in the fall of 2000 and Oaks Christian Online (OCO) opened for full-time, online students in the fall of 2011. One of the nation's finest accredited online schools, Oaks Christian Online High School provides a rigorous, NCAA approved, college-preparatory education for high school students all around the world in a Christian environment. OCO and Oaks Christian School are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges as well as by the Southern Association of Independent Schools. Oaks Christian Online continues to enroll part-time and full-time students throughout the school year and regularly hosts information sessions on its main campus – 31749 La Tienda Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91362, as well as virtual information sessions for prospective student families. Interested students can visit the website https://www.oakschristianonline.org/ to R.S.V.P.