Alan Ryder

August 15, 2017

Recent Los Altos graduate Alan Ryder, ‘17, had struggled to find a friend group he identified himself with and was unable to maintain high grades before enrolling in Foothill Middle College.

At Middle College, students only take classes at Foothill and are also required to take English and history with their other Middle College peers. However, after their required English and history classes students have the freedom to choose classes out of Foothill’s course catalogue.

Through a lunch informational meeting about Middle College, Alan found himself interested in the program and loved the idea he could tailor his schedule to himself.

“The first thing that kind of got my attention was the freedom of the times of classes, that’s kind of one of the biggest factors,” Alan said. “I can be really well understood in a certain subject but if I’m not being tested on it at the right time of day, it’s completely worthless, because I’m not ready to be engaged.”

For him, enrollment marked a drastic lifestyle change.

“I would play after school,” Alan said. “All the time I’d spend at my house would be on the computer. When I started going to Middle College, I stopped playing computer games almost completely.”

He attributes his sudden stop in playing video games to the growth mindset environment Middle College provides and drives his and his peers’ passion for learning. Alan grew emotionally and improved academically.

Alan feels brave to step into the future without a definite plan, a strength he’s gained from Foothill’s Middle College.

“At Foothill I’ve really learned a lot of life skills and I’ve learned to feel less vulnerable about what could be going on in the future. That I can really take the reigns; [I can] drive my own future and create it to be what I want it to be.”

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