The Student Spotlight is a regular feature here on the Catapult Academy blog. The students that are highlighted are nominated by teachers and staff in recognition of their achievement. They are our very own shining stars!
This week we interview Duval County student Dylan Gabriel Bent.
Getting to Know . . . Dylan Gabriel Bent
What grade are you in and when do you expect to graduate?
I am currently in the 12th grade. I expect to graduate in June of 2016.
Which Catapult Academy center do you attend?
I attended the St. Johns site off of St. Johns Bluff Road in Jacksonville, Florida.
Why is getting a high school diploma important to you?
A high school diploma is important to me because it is more valuable than its alternatives. A high school diploma reflects grit and determination, things employers, and people in general value in an individual.
What are your plans for the future after you receive your diploma?
I plan on going to Tallahassee to attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to study computer engineering.
Tell us something interesting about yourself–what are your special interests, talents, or hobbies?
Engineering is a big interest of mine. I started programming my junior year and haven’t stopped since. I am currently learning to design Android applications. I also have an interest in electronics and have been working on Arduino projects that incorporate code and sensors to influence actuators and transducers.
What is one piece of advice you would give to other students who dropped out of high school?
Get your diploma! Getting anything else in the long run is not worth it. I have worked three jobs in my short life and not one of my coworkers had a GED or was a drop out! I personally wanted to get my GED and found that most employers are not looking for people who took the easy way out as I wanted to. A high school diploma reflects that an individual has the grit to buckle down and stick it out when things get tough. Getting a diploma really is the first step to running your life and finding employment.
What is the best part about attending Catapult Academy?
The best part about attending Catapult Academy was the flexibility of being able to work at school and at home.
Is there a person at Catapult Academy who really helped you along on your journey? How have they helped you?
Mrs. Maitre, my school’s lead teacher, really helped me a lot by keeping me on track to finishing my classes. She would continually check my progress in each course and would remind me if deviated off track.
Mrs. Bradford, my guidance counselor, helped me to check on my grades and helped me with numerous documents and transcripts I had to send to colleges. She encouraged me to go to a FAMU Scholarship and Acceptance Night at a local high school. There I was awarded a $32,000 scholarship and was accepted on the spot!
Mrs. Blue, my college counselor, has worked very hard with me to ensure I am all set to go to school and that my schooling is paid for. She has written letters of recommendation and has proofread and edited my college essays. She has helped me apply for various scholarships and even toured a college with me and my family.
There are many more staff who helped me on my journey. The people at Catapult are all around great people willing to help you succeed in life.