MILL CITY - “Oregon Connections Academy has helped me prepare for the next chapter in my life by enabling me to see the bigger picture and taking responsibility for my education,” said 18-year-old Jared Duval of Bandon.

Jared is one of the 450 seniors of the Oregon Connections Academy Class of 2019. The commencement ceremony was held June 8 at the State Fairgrounds in Salem.

The early chapters for Jared included Cub Scouts, then Boy Scout Troop 313 in Bandon where he received nearly two dozen medals and eventually earned an Eagle Scout rank last fall. Jared plans to enlist in the U.S. Navy so he can serve his country, work his way up the ranks and hopefully qualify for the Navy Seal program someday.

Christina Duval, Jared’s mother, explained the family decided Oregon Connections Academy was the best fit for his education and it would provide him with the skills he needed for the future.

“We selected ORCA because we felt the curriculum was challenging and presented more opportunities,” Christina said. “This choice has helped Jared gain self-awareness, a sense of responsibility, knowledge and become more of an independent student.”

“By choosing Oregon Connections Academy I realized that with the help of my teachers I was able to take my education into my own hands and excel,” Jared said.

For his Eagle Scout project, Jared organized a team of friends to build a new concession stand for the Bandon High School Baseball Team. 

Jared was on the Bandon High School track and field team the past few years. Competing in the 800 meter dash, he placed 6th at state for division 2A schools this year. He’s also participated in pole vault, relay races, and cross country. The football team was on the list of sports for a while and Jared still enjoys running and swimming.

And then there is his very favorite sport, which isn’t offered at local high school.

“In his spare time, he loves, and I mean loves to ride his BMX bike with his friends,” Christina said. “Even during track and field practice his coaches had to finally take Jared’s bike away from him so he wouldn’t get injured before the big state meet. Luckily he got it back right after state.”

Jared and his mother agree, teachers are a key ingredient in the recipe for this graduate’s academic success.

“What I will remember and appreciate the most about Oregon Connections Academy are my teachers, for always giving me the opportunity to better my grade and never giving up on me, Jared said. “They did not accept failure. Therefore, I did not accept failure. I always felt that my teachers literally dropped what they were doing to help me when I was stuck on something. ORCA has also taught me it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.”

“We, as a family, would like to thank the teachers and administrators for all their hard work and dedication,” Christina added. “You are making a difference every day!”

This family has many reasons they encourage other people to check out Oregon Connections Academy for their children’s education.

“I would recommend ORCA to other families because of the high quality of the curriculum, wide-variety of electives, flexibility, access to your student’s grade book, progress at all times and open communication with the teachers,” Christina said.

“I think it’s a really great program for kids,” Jared said. “The curriculum is challenging and you will learn a lot if you stick with it.”

Enrollment is now underway for Oregon Connections Academy’s 2019-2020 school year. For more details about enrollment or the school call (800) 382-6010 or visit www.OregonConnectionsAcademy.com

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