Sasha Warlow, WashingtonKeystone National High School - Community - Meet Our Students
As Sasha Warlow's
journey that led to a Junior Olympics ski title grew in intensity, it became more and more of a struggle to satisfy the attendance requirements at her
high school.Training and competing kept her
on the road and on the slopes at mountains across the western states and Canada -- often far away from her
school in Sandpoint, Idaho."When I was seriously competing, I was gone a lot," said Sasha, now 21 and a student at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Some competitive skiers attend pricey ski academies, but -- with all the expenses associated with the sport -- they are beyond many families' reach, including Sasha's
parents heard about Keystone National High School, and Sasha
junior year learning at her
own pace, whether at home or in a hotel.Keystone
, a fully accredited, independent study program serving students in all 50 states and around the world, offers at-home, self-paced study and education to more than 20,000 students each year.
"There was a point when I was mostly living in a hotel room in Spokane (Wash.) so I could train with my coach at Mount Spokane
," said Sasha
."No matter where I was, I could continue with my studies because of Keystone
.And I loved being able to do my schooling in my sweat pants."The Keystone instructors provide guidance to students using telephone, email, electronic bulletins boards and online chat.Sasha
called for help a few times and found the staff to be "very nice and helpful."She
especially appreciated the instructors' detailed evaluations of her
work."They do a full write-up after every test so you know what you did right, what you did wrong and where you can find additional information," she
found the Keystone curriculum to be "much harder, especially the math, and above and beyond what was offered at my high school."She
liked the materials, said they were "easy to follow" and led her
"step by step" through every course.Her
favorite subjects were Chemistry and Spanish II.Sasha Warlow
self-paced curriculum presented an initial challenge for Sasha
but taught her
valuable skills that she
uses today."It was hard to motivate myself at first because I didn't have to," she
said."But I learned to sit down and focus and accomplish my work-skills that have really helped me in college.I know I'm a better student now because of homeschooling through Keystone
The rigors of training for competitive skiing events didn't allow for rapid progress with her
schoolwork, so Sasha
was grateful for Keystone's work-at-your-own-pace flexibility."Even though it took me a little longer than if I had given up competitive skiing and continued with public high school, the route I took was definitely the right one for me."After graduating from Keystone, Sasha took a two-year break from school, spent some time in southern California, worked, made plans for college and her future and then "made my way back to the mountains," she said.
"I needed some time off before beginning college because I wanted to be ready and do my best."
"For anyone pursuing a dream -- whether competing in a sport, traveling or something else -- I'd recommend Keystone.It allowed me to receive a great high school education while doing what I love."
These days, Sasha
is busy taking a full college course load, volunteering in the diagnostic ultrasound department of a hospital and working part time at an office-supply store.She
has outlined a course of action that will take her
goal: a career as an ultrasound technician.She'll take a portion of her course work at Skagit Valley College, a portion at Bellevue Community College and then finish with a bachelor of science degree in nuclear medicine technology from Seattle University.
And although structured competitive skiing is behind her
will never put much distance between herself and the slopes.As much as time allows, she
travels to participate in "X Games," extreme freestyle skiing events.Skiing is her
passion, "something I will never stop," she
"For anyone pursuing a dream -- whether competing in a sport, traveling or something else -- I'd recommend Keystone," said Sasha