Inspire Alumni Testimonials & Stories

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Since its inception in 2010
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences has provided students with the unique opportunity to explore and intensively learn in the areas of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, digital media arts, engineering, and science – unlike any other high school in the North State. This award-winning high school commits to preparing the greatest number of students possible within a small school environment for a successful transition to college, work, and life experiences that reflect a lifelong love of learning, a fearless approach to risk-taking, a healthy work ethic, and a passionate commitment to service.
Over ten years of Inspire students have walked through the campus and so many stay in touch, talk about how Inspire changed their lives, and have said that Inspire staff made them who they are today. Take a look at what they have to say…

Courtney German

Class of 2016
If I had to describe my time at Inspire in three words, those three words would be; knowledgeable, interesting, and satisfying. What really makes Inspire a unique school is the fact that they really care about the students and give them every opportunity to express themselves in amazing ways. Whether it’s through dance, music, art, or science, students can explore new talents and really grow into the amazing individuals they’re destined to be.  Since 2016 when I graduated I’ve been continuing my education at Butte College. I had no idea what I wanted to work towards at first but I finally decided to pursue a job in the medical field as an X-ray tech. I’m actually moving to Klamath Falls, Oregon in like 2 weeks to go to the Oregon Institute of Technology. I’m going to miss Chico, but I’ll be back as much as possible to visit.  Inspire was truly a blessing for me because at my other high school I felt so alone and misunderstood. Our music classes were a joke and there wasn’t much else there for art. I didn’t even know Inspire existed until my grandmother took me to a musical they performed at PV High. I couldn’t believe what skill they had and that apparently they came from a school with students just like me, kids who appreciated the fine arts and longed to bring joy to other through their talents. I knew I had to go there to survive high school, and Inspire helped my thrive. I will always be grateful to the amazing teachers and kind classmates I had and I can’t wait for our first reunion.
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Danicka Leeds

Class of 2020
The possibility of attending Inspire has always been riveting to me since middle school. The idea of going to a school that accepted you as you were and encouraged like minded creativity seemed foreign or out of grasp. Many schools from my experience focus solely on the academics of each student leaving little room for creativity but Inspire encourages both with more support towards individuality than conformity. Unlike other schools, Inspire offers students the opportunity to declare a major to explore deeply their passions while meeting all high school graduation requirements. I find it a privilege to work alongside highly supportive faculty and with like-minded peers who genuinely care about their success and education. Inspire allowed me to explore new pathways and excel in areas I wouldn’t have previously traveled. With abundant opportunities to express oneself I unexpectedly leaned towards dance as a newfound passion with the encouragement of Jarrah. The kind of love and devotion the teachers and other administrators pour into their students is admirable and that kind of unity is rare to find elsewhere. When I was going through the Camp Fire with the belief I would never see my family again, I had a teacher right there beside me in care as I struggled to maintain my composure. During the worst of my darkest days where I have been diagnosed with severe nerve damage with the idea of walking to be a challenge let alone dancing an impossibility. My dance teachers remained by my side and saw in me an ability to dance that I, at first, did not recognize. Jarrah related to my pain of not being able to dance and feeling like your world is crushing down with her own medical stories. Mrs. Shoemaker was sending me love through my many stays in the hospital and sent me videos of man tap dancing without a leg. Through this encouragement, they offered me hope and with hope comes a dream which could be achieved. Through vulnerability change occurs, and Inspire is all about recognizing each student's potential, even if they themselves don’t see their own abilities until they are brought to the surface. I had to accept myself for who I am and recognize that I can still dance and do anything I desire if I simply adapt and work to achieve that goal. My medical diagnoses simply challenged my creativity and acted as an inspiration to others demonstrating that they too can overcome the obstacles in their lives in pursuit of what they love. This was my main incentive that fueled my Senior Project titled “Removing the dis in disability” which aims to showcase each dancer's abilities. Using a spoken word I created that retold my medical journey, I would have choreographed a dance accommodating to each individual dancer to communicate to my audience and peers that they shouldn’t let their current circumstances be a barrier that they can’t overcome. Despite the challenges of this virus, I aim to continue my vision of this project even if it will be after I graduate. Inspire has demonstrated to me that no matter what obstacle comes my way that I can still achieve the same goals that may be seen as improbable by others. I just need to recognize that there will be setbacks but I can still find prosperity in every situation This belief will continue to inspire me to further my passions and to take risks in life in pursuit of what I love to do whether it's dancing, helping people find their potential, or tending to the needs of infants so they too can leave their mark in society. I am currently a freshman at UC San Diego majoring in Human development of sciences with a minor in Spanish and working on my prerequisites for either medical school or nursing school.
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Duncan Ober

Class of 2016
A tour of Inspire during my sophomore year immediately led me to transfer from another high school.  I never imagined that high schoolers could have access to the kinds of music production spaces that Inspire has. After switching to Inspire for my junior and senior years I made full use of those resources, learning Pro Tools production software in Mr. White’s Recording Arts class. Since graduating in 2016 I have built on these skills and now use Pro Tools daily in my job at KZSC Radio.  As a school of art and sciences, it's easy to think students are either focused on arts or sciences at Inspire. This isn't the case. Inspire is a place where students can grow as artists and scientists. I have such fond memories of walking from a biology lab straight into the music studio, and loving both! In college, picking a major often forces students to choose between passions.  Inspire proved that you don't have to choose. I recently graduated [from UC Santa Cruz] with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and an Electrical Engineering minor. Inspire is the perfect place for students to see the intersectionality of disciplines and grow as well-rounded people, not just single-minded students.
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Elizabeth Allen

Class of 2015
I had a  lot of great teachers who meant a lot to me, but Mrs. Brown definitely had a big influence on me. I first had her for English my freshman year, and she also helped me and my friends start and maintain “The Living Poets’ Society” all four years of school. She very quickly became a friend and mentor to me and I’m so grateful for all her help and support. She very quickly became a friend and mentor to me and I’m so grateful for all her help and support.  My favorite part of Inspire was definitely the community. Inspire was a safe place to express myself and grow. I spent a lot of highschool trying to figure out who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go, and all my teachers-- from art to writing to advisory-- were a huge support. I also loved that I knew so many of the people in the school, and that I got to be around so many incredibly talented friends.  Inspire did a lot to prepare me for life after high school. If we’re talking about college, the music classes I took at Inspire gave me a great foundation in music and helped put me ahead when I started taking college level music classes and working towards my degree in music education. But most of all, Inspire gave me the space and resources to develop as an artist. I had the class time to learn so many artistic skills that I still use, and teachers who were supportive and invested in my success. I’m incredibly grateful for my time at Inspire, and I hope the school continues to be a great place. 
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Elizabeth Ober

Class of 2018
At Inspire, my classes challenged and fascinated me. I chose to go to Inspire because of the variety of courses offered and the ability granted by the block schedule to take multiple electives in a single year. One of my favorite things about Inspire was the focus on cross-disciplinary and intersectional critical thinking—my freshman year engineering class attempted to design a drainage system for the pottery wheels in the art room, my junior year history and English classes assigned a joint final project focusing on rhetoric and current events, and nearly every Inspire class had some focus on larger community engagement. Beyond just assigning books that entertained me, explaining calculus in the only way I've ever heard it make sense, or teaching me how to draw in two-point perspective, I will remember the wonderful teachers at Inspire as the people who provided me with some of my first and most pivotal opportunities to grow as a person and a thinker.
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Emily Redeker

Class of 2017
Since my graduation, I have continued my studies as an Illustration Major at a California State University, and have been accepted into their Bachelor’s of Fine Arts program. Inspire really prepared me for college with longer classes, an alternating schedule, and an environment where my passion for art could flourish. Inspire has amazing staff and teachers who are invested in their student’s success, and the whole school feels like family.
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Real graduates. Real rockstars.

Emily Teague

Photographer, Educator, Ambassador at SmugMug
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Oliver Moore

Award Winning Pianist, Composer
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Kat Burchett

Actor, Model, Disney Staff
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