Calla Smith (16) is an integral part of BrianBoost’s ATS program. Having been here for a year and half, she is a caring community builder and innovator, who dedicates herself not only to her Grade 11 academics, but to a truly holistic education.
Why did you start coming to BrainBoost?
I came in the summer of 2015 for Math 8 and 9 with Keri. My old school didn’t feel like a good fit, so halfway through the fall semester, I came back to BrainBoost. I had really big hopes for myself. I want to go far in life and I just didn’t think I could do it at my old school. I came into BrainBoost and it had this energy that made me feel like anything could happen here. Jessy helped me structure my program towards graduation and included all these things that I’m passionate about.
That’s awesome! What are some of those things that you’re so passionate about?
I wanted to work with Doctors Without Borders – either as a doctor or volunteer. Just something in that medical, intense, hands-on structure. I’m still very passionate about biology, specifically about human anatomy, which is why I took the Biology 12 class last year in grade 10.
Wow! To be in grade 10 and taking a grade 12 science is a big leap for a lot of people! Can you tell me a little bit about the Biology 12 class at BrainBoost?
I was really excited about it because it was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a course specifically about human anatomy! I thought of it as an elective, but the teacher, Justin, showed us how he was trying to prepare us for University and Biology 101. There were words that made me feel I wasn’t ready for the course, that it was too advanced. Justin convinced me to stay for a little while and try my best, and if it got hard, I could leave. Obviously I didn’t.
I know that the class was such a success for you that you will be the Teaching Assistant for Bio 12 next term! How do you feel about that?
I’m really excited to do it! I wanted to take the course again, but you can’t double credits. I was disappointed because I really wanted to be in that class again. Then I remembered that Jana had a TA in my Socials 10 class and that I could do that for a class that I was interested in!
How else do you think BrainBoost has helped you in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) area?
I am super grateful for what Caitlin did for me. This fall, she helped me get into Mini Med School and Discovery Days at Children’s Hospital. I think Caitlin has a really big passion for biology, and when you have a passion for something and someone else has a passion for it, you kind of vibe in that way. She couldn’t go to those things, and she wanted me to experience those things! It was really awesome for her to do those things for me.
It’s a long road to being a doctor, and in these last two senior years of high school, how do you think BB is helping you in those areas?
For me, it’s the reassurance!
My case manager, Sarah, and Ivey are really good at showing me a list of what I had to do to get into a university. I just need an undergrad degree first, and for me it’s getting TO that undergrad that’s the big leap. Ivey and Sarah have been really great with sitting down with me and explaining what prerequisites I need and what grades I need. It’s not in my head anymore, it’s actually on paper and I can see it!