Faith student takes college preparatory classes to get a head start on her future


Photo by Naia Mesalic

During her weekend getaway to Stanford, Mesalic enjoyed spending time with her professor, Dr. Hayes. They talked about the level of Mesalic’s courses and how they will help advance the likelihood of getting accepted into Stanford.

Danae Mueller, Editor

Imagine having to balance a life full of soccer, family, friends, and school all while living like a regualr teenage girl.Now, imagine having to attend nearly college level courses, online, for an esteemed college such as Stanford University. Well, eighth grader Naia Mesalic accomplishes all of these things and still has time to do things for herself.

Even though the online class participants, who take eleventh to twelfth grade classes, do not physically sit together, Mesalic can still interact with them. She still has the classroom experience due to the students breaking up into groups, and she takes quizzes like regular classrooms.

“The quizzes are like taking a survey online.” Mesalic said. Also, the students watch videos and all students have a whiteboard that they draw, type, or write things on.

Mesalic found these online courses while looking at different colleges to attend once she graduates high school. At first, she didn’t apply directly to the Stanford course; but applied to a similar program. After a short period of time, Stanford offered her a spot in their program. Mesalic had to put a lot of effort into joining one of her classes. She wrote approximately ten essays for the course.

The official course name that Mesalic takes is “JE002” and it includes the fundamentals of literary analysis, the introduction to neuroprosthetics, and the introduction to neuroscience.

Mesalic takes these classes so she can add to her education and allow Stanford to notice her application when she applies to the university.

She has recently visited Stanford and Mesalic couldn’t believe how pleasant the people seemed and how well kept the school-grounds appeared. Even though Mesalic had never met any of her classmates face-to-face, she interacted with them well when she finally got the chance to meet them.

Mesalic enjoyed walking around the campus, where almost everyone travels by bike, with fellow classmates her own age. Interestingly enough, most of the people in her class are around fourteen, Mesalic’s age.

Mesalic didn’t just meet other members of her class. She met her professor, Dr. Shannon Hays, along with other positive and friendly people.

Mesalic loves her classes, as “they are the highlights” of her day. However, even though Mesalic has fun taking these classes, she treats them seriously for two reasons.

The first reason, the courses help pave the future for Mesalic, who would prefer to work in the biomedical field. Since she has taken these classes, Stanford has recognized her as someone to look out for.

“People who are in the program have a higher chance of applying for Stanford and making it in,” said Mesalic. This has helped her have a better opportunity at getting into most Ivy League colleges. In fact, online courses rate high as one of the first things they look for in future students.

The second reason would involve the cost of these classes.

“It was $1000 for applying and $3000 for attending the classes for the rest of the year,” Mesalic said.

However, these expenses have had Mesalic’s parents make some changes in how their family operates.

“We have had to cut down on vacations and other recreational things to remain in a good financial position,” Mesalic’s parents said via email. Even though the cost seems a bit pricey, they believe the cost is worth the amount they pay.

For now, Mesalic takes eleventh to twelfth grade classes, but once she reaches high school, her courses will involve college-level subjects and questions.


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