Ingenuity Charter School seniors
Ingenuity seniors ready to get on the bus for the 1st annual Grad Nite Bash at Universal Studios

By Sarah Beauchemin

It is true that like most things in life, when it comes to education, one size does not fit all.

Students have a wide array of different learning abilities, styles and habits. They also have unique home and life circumstances that will further impact how, and when, they study and learn.

Ingenuity Charter School – a hybrid learning institution that opened in 2015 – recognizes and celebrates these differences in their student body. Ingenuity is dedicated to giving San Diego’s underrepresented students access to high-quality education that fits around their home and work responsibilities.

“Ingenuity’s hybrid learning program really takes care of any issues that stand in the way of a student’s learning,” said Michelle Gilly, a first-year instructor at Ingenuity. “From providing students with bus passes, to laptops and wifi hotspots, to the flexibility of the independent study program itself, we make sure every student can complete his or her high school education.”

Because of Ingenuity’s keen understanding of their students’ various needs for success, their graduates are equipped right away to enter college or vocational school, the military or the workforce with confidence and clarity.

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Call (619) 262-2046 or visit our website to find out how Ingenuity Charter School can support your student’s educational needs.

Stories from 2018 Ingenuity Graduates

To understand how Ingenuity helps its students with individualized learning that leads to success, we interviewed several of this year’s graduates. Here is what they had to say about their alma mater:

Izea Lopez-Pelayo

Izea attended Ingenuity for two years, after falling behind on credits due to the fast-paced environment of his previous school.

Ingenuity Charter School graduates
Two of Ingenuity’s 2018 graduates celebrate their achievement
Two of Ingenuity’s 2018 graduates celebrate their achievement

“I came to Ingenuity for two main reasons,” said Izea. “First, I could catch up on credits, and second, Ingenuity’s program was an independent study and could be done mostly at home.”

For Izea, the ability to work one-on-one with Ingenuity instructors while learning from home was an added benefit. “I didn’t have to worry about other students distracting me, which happened a lot at my other school,” he said. “Plus, the Ingenuity instructors were always available to help me with questions I had. My main teacher, Ms. Huerta, would always keep me motivated along the way – even in trying times – and kept me on track for graduation.”

In fact, one of Izea’s proudest accomplishments is that he ended up graduating a little earlier than the rest of the students in his class – something that helped him get a jump on his goal to become a professional, licensed electrician.

“The counselors at Ingenuity helped give me information about the best vocational schools and programs that I would benefit from the most,” said Izea. “I’m proud to have graduated from Ingenuity Charter School. It really was such a great experience.”

Alejandro Delgado-Vargas

Like Izea, Alejandro (Alex) Delgado-Vargas was drawn to Ingenuity because of the quiet, self-contained work environment the school offered, as well as the flexible learning schedule.

Before coming to Ingenuity, Alex was near the point of dropping out of high school. His family and work obligations were very time-consuming and overwhelming. But upon enrolling at Ingenuity, the staff immediately began to help him find ways to manage his time and create new schedules for work/life balance.

“They helped me out in so many different ways,” said Alex. “Most importantly, they showed me how to research local colleges and fill out applications. Now I’m at California College, working on a business associate’s degree, and I still keep in contact with my Ingenuity teachers.”

Although Ingenuity is mostly an independent study program, Alex was a champion of creating a student culture at the school. “He really wanted students to feel a sense of community here and enjoy some traditional school elements,” said Nicole Huerta, Ingenuity instructor.

He took the lead to plan Ingenuity’s first-ever Grad Nite at Universal Studios in Burbank, and also served as 2018’s graduation speaker (even overcoming his fear of public speaking to do so). “Without question, going to Ingenuity was the best choice of my life,” said Alex.

Brian Lizarraga

Brian came to Ingenuity after he realized his previous school’s schedule was not working for him.

Brian Lizarraga graduates from O'Farrell Charter School
Brian Lizarraga proudly walks in the O’Farrell Charter Schools Graduation Parade prior to the graduation ceremony.
Brian Lizarraga proudly walks in the O’Farrell Charter Schools Graduation Parade prior to the graduation ceremony.

“I lived so far away from my school that with public transportation, I was away from home for about 12 hours a day,” said Brian. He was exhausted, unmotivated and also didn’t feel that he was getting the academic support he needed.

“At Ingenuity, it was totally different,” he said. “I got so much support from my teachers that I didn’t need to stay after school for extra help. That left me time for the extracurricular activities I enjoy like soccer, boxing or even taking care of my little sister.”

Above all, Brian explained, the Ingenuity instructors showed they really cared by taking the time to help him understand concepts and subjects – no matter how long that took. “They showed me how important patience is,” he said. “I now know that going forward in my life, as a mentor or teacher down the road, patience is key to really being able to help someone truly learn.”

Finally, Ingenuity’s flexible independent study program helped move Brian toward his goal of becoming a professional boxer.

“Ingenuity was perfect for me because it helped me finish high school a lot faster and left me ample time to train,” he said. “If it weren’t for Ingenuity, I wouldn’t have been able to seize so many of the opportunities I’ve been given now after graduating.”

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