Why I Came to RPA

The author riding her mule, Rafter F Josephine. 

When you ride mules, your life revolves around caring for them and preparing for the next competition. You often are required to travel to different states for a week or two, in order to present and show your mule. From Idaho to California, your unique lifestyle takes you places you have never been and to cities you probably never wanted to go. It is yet another hobby that takes up all of your money and time, ultimately becoming a living.

This hobby-turned-to-profession is what my family has been doing for the last three generations. People often think that riding a mule is easy- that anyone could do it. Contrary to these beliefs, riding a mule is not easy; it involves strength, both physically and mentally. But the hardships faced and the time spent during the schooling of these animals is what makes the experience enjoyable and rewarding.

Due to my absence while riding and training mules, my only two options for school were to not go to school - my parents were not having that - or to be homeschooled. Subsequently, for the last two years, I have been homeschooled with the Redmond K12 Online program, taking the standardized four core classes and around three electives.  

However, this year, my freshman year of high school, my parents suggested going to RPA. Redmond Proficiency Academy allows students to take classes online or go to school. As an extroverted person who loves people and enjoys daily human interaction with more than my parents and older brother, RPA sounded like the greatest thing my parents had ever mentioned.

I am able to go to school for the classes I struggled in, like math and geography, but take easier classes online. I am also able to make friends at school and still see the others at mule shows. The best part, in my opinion, is being able to leave for those few weeks without the risk of failing all my classes.

Ultimately, I found that RPA is not only the best option for my over friendly and over enthusiastic personality, but is also one of the most individually accommodating schools.


Alyssa Fournier