Sawyer Berkelaar #whyHDCH


High School goes by fast, but they are years jam packed with new experiences and personal growth. Now, I’m reflecting back on my experience.

I came into Grade 9 never having gone to an organized school before, having been homeschooled. I remember feeling kind of nervous. What if the transition was terrible? What if I couldn’t make friends? I needn’t have worried. The project-based learning at HD was pretty similar to what I knew from homeschooling, and the teachers did a great job making everyone feel welcome and important. The sense of community at this school is really special, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it for four years.

The school has shaped me in numerous ways: I’ve learned resilience, since there are always challenges at high school, compassion through some of the socially conscious projects
I’ve been involved in, and creativity from the project-based approach. It’s easier to be creative when you are making something and using your wits as opposed to memorizing facts for a test.

Throughout these four years, there have been unforgettable experiences that have made high school fun. Sports teams, field trips and bridge days. Whenever students get the chance to go off campus for an experience, it’s usually very worthwhile and helpful, and you really can learn to apply your learning in new and exciting ways. I learned a lot.

So I came into high school a nervous young lad, and I’m going out of it confident about my next steps. HDCH gave me an education that will help make me capable and effective in the outside world, and I enjoyed it. There will always be challenges and tough times in high school, but in the end it is worth it many times over, for all the skills, attitudes, and habits you develop in the process.

~Sawyer Berkelaar ‘19