Personalized Pathways is the way we do high school here in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Students are grouped together in small learning communities where teachers and students get to know each other really well. Core classes – English, science, social studies, Pathways core course and sometimes math – have a common theme woven through them, and teachers work on teams to develop curriculum to connect the classes and incorporate the learning from each class into one project. Students also get additional opportunities related to that theme, such as field trips to businesses or colleges/universities or classroom visits from industry leaders and community partners. Enrollment is open now, at mmsd.org/pathways.
La Follette sophomore, Genisis A. Lee is incredibly easy-going, friendly and passionate about media arts. She eagerly joined La Follette’s Information Technology and Communication (ITC) Pathway last school year after making a decision to pursue the Personalized Pathways opportunity as an eighth grade student at Sennett Middle School.
“I am really confident and knowledgeable about anything that has to do with digital technology,” said Genisis. “So when I heard about the ITC Pathway, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. My mother encouraged me to look into it, and I’m glad I did”.
Genisis enjoys her ITC coding and technology courses the most, and loves that she’s made new friends that are also Pathways scholars that share the same digital media interests as her.
In ninth grade, Genisis entered an all-school t-shirt design contest at La Follette. She won the contest after her design received the most votes. She was shocked that so many students liked her art. On the front of an all-black t-shirt, Genisis drew an image of a young Black woman using earthy red and bronze tones with a curly afro hairstyle and the phrase, ‘Saving the World. One idea at a time. LHS.’
“This was the first time I shared my artwork with a really big audience,” said Genisis. “I didn’t think my peers would like it, but the image is a reflection of me.” After high school, Genisis hopes to attend Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington, D.C. She wants to continue on the digital arts pathway by majoring in filmmaking and production.
Outside of school, Genisis comes from a big family. She has nine siblings that she cherishes and draws strength and inspiration from. “My mother and my sisters and brothers are my biggest role models,” said Genisis. “My mom has always told me to reach for the stars, and my sisters show me everyday what hard work and perseverance look like.”
To hear about Genisis’ experience as a La Follette ITC Pathway scholar, check out this video:
-Marlita Bevenue, MMSD Communications