Monday, March 29, 2010

Homeschoolers CAN Do Well in College: Meet my Daughter, Amy Zellman

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I will never forget the moment, many years ago, when one of my sister-in-laws, a public school teacher, told me that I was "ruining" my children by schooling them at home.  If, by any chance, you are being told by your family and friends that you are "ruining" your child(ren) because you have chosen to homeschool them, don't believe them. Homeschooling is a wonderful, positive environment for learning of all sorts. I pray you find this report on my daughter's success in college an encouragement to you in your day-to-day labors with your own children.  The sky is the limit with your children's potential. 

After homeschooling for 18 years, I would say to each of you, "Reach for the stars! God has a plan for each and every child he has placed in your home. Know that your homeschooling efforts are a manifestation of a holy calling.  Our calling includes raising our children so they will want to make a difference for God during their lifetimes and in the lives of the generations that follow them." 

My daughter, just like her two brothers, was homeschooled starting at age 4 all the way through high school. (Our youngest son is still in high school.)  She did some dual enrollment during high school at our local community college and took a few classes at a private Christian school during high school. But, the rest of her school work was done primarily at home.  We used available resources outside the home only when we felt the other school could do a better job of teaching a subject than we could. 

Amy has wanted to become a medical doctor since she was a very young child.  This notion grew from a vague consideration at age four to a strong commitment by age seven. Since age seven, her determination to become a doctor has never wavered. She is presently finishing her junior year in Northern California at Simpson University, a Christian and Missionary Alliance school in Redding, CA.  She has a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.8 right now (out of 4.0). 

After applying for several possible medical or scientific research oportunities for summer of 2010, Amy was offered two prestigious possibilities:

  1. A summer internship program with stipend from the Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York. That's right! ...the Ivy League school, or
  2. A generous stipend to conduct medical research alongside Dr. Steven Goheen at the Department of Homeland Security in Richland, Washington. Because of the medical research and publication possibilities associated with the projects planned at Homeland Security, Amy has chosen to go to Homeland Security this summer and work under Dr. Goheen, her mentor for the project.
Seal of the United States Department of Homela...Amy will be taking her MCAT exams this summer. The scores on the MCAT and/or GRE exams this year determine who gets into medical school for the 2011 - 2012 school year.

She plans to apply this coming fall in hopes of finding a full ride scholarship in an MD-PhD program at a reputable school. After grauation from that phase of studies, she would be a medical doctor with the ability to practice medicine, conduct and write about both scientific and medical research, as well as teaching science, math and medical subjects at the university level.

I'm a proud Mom, but I know well that all the credit is due my daughter--not her parents.  She made this happen!  It is her good choices coupled with a lot of hard work and determination that have gotten her where she is today.     

I encourage all homeschooling parents not to fear homeschooling through high school.  For some families, this gives you the flexibility you need to prepare your teen to move into college, trade school, apprenticeships, and or go straight to work someplace.  With the tools you place under their belts, our homeschooled sons and daughters can make a real difference in the future of our nation and even around the world. 

The link below is her university's press release about her landing these two prestigious summer programs.  I believe the next generation could be transformed for the better by well-educated, talented homeschool students who are willng to work hard and dedicate their life in fields that can make a difference in the lives of people everywhere.         

Malinda Zellman

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