Kaden is busy, but he’s not wasting any time. As he prepares to graduate from Lumen High in 2023, a charter public school in Spokane, Kaden is a proud father of a 2-year-old son and is already hard at work making plans for his future.
“I’m an entrepreneur,” says Kaden. “It can be challenging not having very much free time, but I’m proud that I was able to maintain a job while going to school and raising a child, all at the same time. When I’m on vacation at the lake – my son loves the water – it feels rewarding knowing how hard I worked so that we could have that time together.”
Finding a school that fit
“At my old school, I felt like I was just a number,” Kaden says. “It was so big and it was so easy to sit in the back of the room and be forgotten about or skip class. But at Lumen, all the teachers were bugging me and making sure I went to class. If I tried to hide, they’d knock on the door and call my phone to make sure that I was OK.” Smiling, he remembers that “it could get annoying but I knew that they were working hard to help me out when I needed it.”
Kaden especially enjoyed hands-on science classes at Lumen High. “I like going outside and testing things like river water or planting new things in the ground. I know these types of activities are also good for developing young brains, like my son’s, and so I enjoyed learning new things that I could then share with him at home,” Kaden says.
“Between having a job, school and raising my son, it really helped to have teachers that would check on me, make sure I’m in class and doing my work,” he says. “When I would feel overwhelmed, my teachers understood what I was going through and would help me out when everything felt like it was too much. They knew when to give me extra time and when to bug me to make sure I was keeping on top of my schoolwork.”
Advice for new students about opportunities at Lumen High
Kaden is 18-years-old and graduating after a year of attending Lumen High. For those just starting at the charter public school, he encourages students to “take it day-by-day and enjoy your time here.”
During his studies at Lumen High, Kaden participated in the launch of a new pilot at the school that places students on internship pathways. He encourages incoming students to find these types of opportunities outside of their classwork. “It’s been fun, but also stressful. I was definitely nervous, but it was a chance to speak with like-minded people about their businesses, go to new places and just learn more about what it takes to be successful.”
At school and in the community, Kaden enjoyed how “mentorships expanded my mind – I was able to get my hands on stuff and see how the world really worked.”
A business and place of his own
“I enjoy working on different things, making plans and then seeming them come to life,” Kaden says. “I like seeing the action after I’ve made a plan and earning income.” Today, he has already started a car detailing business and trades stocks. He is also looking into reselling products on the Amazon marketplace.
“At school, I talk to my guy friends who have similar responsibilities at home about what kind of business I should pursue. I also like to share ideas with other business owners to get advice. Together, they are a big part of my community,” Kaden says.
Planning for the future
“In 10 years, I want to have a house on the lake with my family and friends. My son will be 12, but I’m sure he’ll still love being outside and being near the water. I love nature, too,” Kaden says. “I’m sure that I’ll be successful in business and earning income from the stock market. I might even still have a business selling products on Amazon.”
“Before Lumen High, I was just going to school and going to work. I was doing the same thing every day,” Kaden remembers. “After the programs I could access while at Lumen High, I could see more for myself and get my hands onto stuff outside of school, too. These experiences helped me get better at what I want to do after I am done with school when I am running a business of my own.”
At Lumen High, Kaden found a local public school that supported his unique needs as a student, as a parent and as a worker. We are excited for the connections that he made during his time at school, applaud him for earning his graduation and look forward to his success in the years to come.