Ashley Cooke, Class of 2015
- Tell me a little bit about your background.
I was originally born in Wisconsin, moved to California around the age of 8, and ever since then my sister and I have been on the go. We started singing since we could talk basically and between performing, recording, rehearsing, and making room for being normal teenagers, we’ve always been moving.
- Why did you become interested in attending an online school, and how did you find out about UMGA?
Because of always being on the go, school is not very easy to keep up with. Especially public school. My sister and I would go to regular school while trying to pursue this career and we would end up getting “late” letters, calls from teachers, etc. and after a while we had to realize that having a normal school life might not be the best thing if we were going to keep pursuing this.
- List some of the reasons that made you thought UMGA would be a good fit for you.
UMGA is very based on communication and being involved in student/teacher activities. It’s not just “here’s your work, you’re on your own.” I think I really valued that because I’ve struggled with ADD throughout my life and it’s nice to always have a person to call if I need help with my work.
- Tell me a little bit about your experience at UMGA. Are teachers helpful and available? Are the classes well-designed and academically challenging? Do you feel UMGA has prepared you for college?
I love UMGA. It is extremely hands-on and focused on the certain things you need to succeed. The teachers work with your schedule, talk you through everything, and overall are able to keep you on track.
- During your high school career, which teacher influenced you the most?
I had this teacher back in 3rd grade (while I was in public school still) who was different than most. All throughout elementary school I had a very hard time focusing and always felt the teachers never understood or cared enough to try and understand. This teacher really put things in perspective for me, held my hand through things, and helped me to succeed in a similar way as all of the other kids my age.
- What class in high school, do you feel, best prepared you for your future?
I truly love English class. Being able to write about my experiences, other peoples lives, etc. you know, it really has prepared me to give speeches and talk out and know things that I never would have if I hadn’t studied and written about them.
- What did you enjoy the most? The least? Was there anything that you’ve missed about the traditional high school setting?
I enjoyed being able to do school work on planes, trains, in the studio, and on the go. Not many kids get the opportunity to grow up on the go, and because of online school I’ve gotten to do that. Of course, some days I would miss not being able to see friends my age every day and be in a group setting, but at the end of the day I look back and would not regret a thing.
- What are some of the challenges you faced as an online student ? How did you overcome them?
I was always challenged with focusing on my work. With online school, you really don’t have a teacher every day telling you to do your homework and get to class on time. It’s very self-motivated. I just learned over time how to control the distractions. It is still a challenge for me, but it’s getting easier day by day.
- Tell me a little bit about your accomplishments. Which two or three accomplishments/honors have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
I have been able to perform at places like The House Of Blues, City Walk, and many other well-known places. In all, I truly would say my biggest accomplishment is being able to make people smile with my music. That’s what this is all about for me, touching people through music.
- What are your plans after High School?
I plan to go to college for music business so I am educated on the business I am in. Whether or not I’m the artist, a talent scout, a manager, or a label executive, I want to be educated in the industry I plan on spending my life working in.
- Where do you envision yourself five years from now?
I hope to see myself touching even more people than I could possibly imagine.
- What is the most important value in your life and why?
Family and education. I’ve always valued family and friends because at the end of the day, money and certain items won’t matter. It’s who has been there for you through it all that will matter. Also, education is extremely important. My dad always told me, people can take things away from you in life but they can never take away your education.
- Who would you recommend this program to and why?
I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to seriously pursue a passion. It is a great option and can truly change your life for the better.