Brooke Young

Mansfield 18-year-old Brooke Young is finishing her high school education online to maintain her dreams of working in theatre.

MANSFIELD -- Brooke Young already has a long career in local theatre. The Mansfield teen is so involved with the stage that she needed a unique approach to education to accommodate her acting aspirations.

Young attended a traditional public school for a short time and then was home-schooled until the ninth grade. At that point she enrolled in the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOTuntil the online charter school abruptly closed its doors last year.

Fortunately, she was able to transfer to Ohio Connections Academy, another online charter, where she could continue to maintain a busy rehearsal schedule and attend college courses at North Central State and Ashland University. 

Today as Young prepares to graduate with OCA’s 2019 Class, she will do so with almost two years of college completed at North Central State University and Ashland University.

Attending online school also enabled her to pursue another passion, musical theatre. Since she was 7 years old, Youth has enjoyed dancing, singing and acting. As she matured, she became more involved productions that would demand a lot more of her time. She believes it was the schedule flexibility online schools provide that enabled her to pursue her love of performing.

The 18-year-old has appeared in numerous productions at the Renaissance Theater and Mansfield Playhouse and is currently competing in a local singing competition. 

“With a traditional school schedule, this would have been nearly impossible to maintain my grades as well as commit fully to my productions,” Young said. “With Ohio Connections Academy, I was again provided the flexibility to pursue my true passions.”

The transition to Ohio Connections Academy was “pretty smooth” other than some extra work that was needed in her Algebra II class, she said. Thanks to the efforts of her teachers and counselors, Brooke was able to stay on track. Young adds that every teacher she’s encountered at Ohio Connections Academy has been wholeheartedly supportive of her college endeavors.

“If I had to choose a singular component that has completely changed my academic journey, without a shadow of a doubt, it would be attending a virtual school has showered me with many opportunities and experiences,” she said. “Truly, Ohio Connections Academy has been instrumental in my academic success, as it enabled me to pursue the courses that would influence my future life as a college student.

“Their support of my academic endeavors and college coursework in addition to their understanding regarding my passions has given me the opportunity to live a life of purpose. Because of a virtual school, I know with all sincerity and all certainty that I will succeed in life,” she added.

Young plans to continue attending Ashland University to pursue a degree in Marketing with a minor in Psychology or Communications.

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