Gabriel Kimmel – Emmett Comer Scholarship Winner

What advantages have you experienced through your homeschool education?

The biggest advantage I have experienced through my homeschool education is the opportunity to dive deep into my interests. I still remember the first day I was homeschooled. It was September of 2011. My mom took my younger sister and me to Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee, Washington. We were the only people there. We had a picnic and climbed all over the rock steps, pretending to be explorers. A few years later, we took our homeschool hiking group back to Ohme Gardens and did a scavenger hunt. That was the tone of homeschooling for my family. Whatever we wanted to try, my mom would give us free time to explore.

I had always loved to sing at church. When I was 11, I tried out for a youth musical, Seussical Jr, and got the role of Horton the Elephant. That led me down the path I’m still on today. Acting, singing, and music have been my passions now for almost eight years. I have acted in 14 plays, I sing in three different choirs, and I play piano and guitar. We have a strong theater community in Wenatchee. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to learn theater tech from some very skilled design technicians at the Numerica Performing Arts Center. I’ve used what I’ve learned to volunteer as a sound, light, and spotlight operator for many plays and events in my community. In fact, last summer, the director who cast me in my first show hired me to be the Technical Coordinator for a large youth theater summer camp.

Homeschooling is flexible. Sometimes I have to stay up very late to work on a show.

Homeschooling allows me to sleep in so I can wake up refreshed and ready for my day. It allows me to choose my subjects and go as deep as I want into exploring them. It gives me free time when I need it. Because I am homeschooled, I’ve been able to spend time with people of all ages. I have plenty of friends my age, but I also have a whole community of theater people of all different ages, and they’re always happy to answer my questions and teach me whatever they can.

Homeschooling led me to the performing arts, and the performing arts gave me confidence and a voice. I am looking forward to many more performances while also studying speech and communication sciences, with the goal of helping other people improve verbal communication skills so they can express themselves like I’m able to do on stage.