RENTON, Wash. — The path to college has been very unconventional for Rachel Joshua. She’s moved to four different states over the past decade and eventually settled into homeschooling in Renton.
Unlike the countless families who have been forced to transition to remote learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rachel preferred the home school option because it allowed her to focus more on her passions.
"I chose it because it gave me more space to focus on who I am and what I want to work on in life," said Rachel. "A benefit of homeschooling for me was being able to practice more."
Rachel is a talented violinist who has been playing for 10 years and participates in the local youth symphony. Her talents on the violin recently earned her the gold in the first-ever virtual Seattle King County NAACP ACT-SO competition.
The Afro-Academic Cultural, Technological, Scientific Olympics focuses on student excellence in STEM, humanities, business, and performing, visual and culinary arts.
"I got to compete with other black students who play violin, which isn’t something you see very often, so just the support of having other black students play and realize we’re in this together," said Rachel.
Rachel will compete in the national competition in July.
Rachel also completed two years of the Running Start program, which earns students dual credits for high school and college.
This fall, Rachel plans to leave her house for the "Dawg House," or the University of Washington to study business.
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