A Valrico teen took the academic plunge and made it out the other side; this is what she has to show for it. Signing your soul away for four years of your life in a gamble for college applications isn’t everyone’s idea of a good bet. Kristen Gaertner, and hundreds like her in the Tampa suburbs, readily jumped at the chance to join Strawberry Crest’s IB magnet program, and made it out four years later with a shiny high school diploma. Now with a summer job and dream college shortly in her future, she’s taken the time to reflect on the past four years of all-nighters and cement-block backpacks.
My questions for Kristen:
1. What was your initial reaction to hearing about the program?
2. How did you feel when you got accepted?
3. What did you think the magnet program would be like?
4. Best and worst moments from those four years?
5. Did you ever miss traditional high school?
6. Did you ever consider dropping out and why/why not?
7. How did you feel walking across the stage on graduation day?
8. Would you recommend it for your siblings/younger friends?
9. Was the magnet program worth it for what you want to do in life?
10. What are your plans for the future with this experience?