Students Speak About Metro
"I can express myself no matter how I am or how I am feeling, I always feel safe going to Metro and being who I am. I love to be able to take many different classes, exploring different artworks I would never be able to take in a [traditional] public school."
-Piper, Class of 2018
"I have never seen anyone not fit in at Metro. We really do attract unique people who want to make strong bonds and relationships and also further their education and enjoy the arts."
-Jenya, Class of 2017
"It makes you feel like you have a place to belong to and you are not out of place, you are always included and never feel judged."
-Jillian, Class of 2017
"The classes are amazing, the people are more accepting. Since it's such a small community, the teachers are more helpful. There's no bullying, and none of that 'weird drama'. I'm more comfortable with myself."
-Matthew Rutt, Class of 2012
"The teachers, the close-knit environment, everyone is very accepting. I feel like I've learned all of my artistic skills here, like how to draw things as they appear. It's been good for my self-esteem to get [my artwork] into First Friday, and hear praise from teachers. Metro has made me a better person than I was freshman year. I came here lost and unsure about the world, but now I've learned who I am."
-Amelia Atteberry, Class of 2012
"I like the family aspect of [Metro] and the one-on-one time with teachers. They're very helpful, and they want you to pass. I feel like I can be whatever I want and fit in perfectly here."
-Ashley Acker, Class of 2012
"[Metro] is a safe place for everyone. Whenever I go out, I notice that I don't have much in common with people. Here, I have a lot in common. People who aren't 'typical' come here, communicate, talk to each other... If I didn't come to Metro, I would feel out of the loop from everyone."
-Peter Kulikowski, Class of 2012
Tina Lam was part of the 2013 Class at Metropolitan Arts Institute. She decided to study dance during her time in high school, and plans on pursuing her passion for the art form in community college and eventually Grand Canyon University.
“Metro has really had a big impact on me,” Lam began. “Before I started high school, I was going to go to a community high school. I was never an art person or a performance person, but when I came here, I thought, I want to dance. I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t go here. I would be a totally different person. I feel very comfortable with this school; I can just be me. It changed me a lot.”
“Everyone accepts you for who you are. I was able to become more authentic through dance. There is no judgment here at all. It made me find something I really want to do, and I want to bring dance with me [to college]. I feel really confident with who I am. I’m going to miss it.”
What would she miss the most? “All of the teachers, they care for you every step of the way. They’re all willing to take extra time to sit and talk to you. Any teacher will support you; I really appreciate them. If any teacher sees you getting a bad grade, they will pull you aside and take the time to figure out what the situation is. They push you. I’m kind of scared to go to college because I’m so used to everyone caring so much. I’m comfortable here; I don’t want to leave.”
Briann Sanders was part of the 2013 Class at Metropolitan Arts Institute and began her high school career studying theater. She has since decided on becoming a nurse like her mother and is planning on attending college in Newburg, Oregon for nursing. However, Sanders insists that art will remain a hobby throughout her life.
“Metro has opened my eyes to many different paths I can take,” Sanders said. “It was nice that I didn’t have to deal with any bullying and I got to blossom into the person I am today. They [the teachers] give you everything you need and you do with it what you will. When I came here I wanted to do theater, but through the years I realized I wanted to be a nurse.”
“When I came here, it was a weird experience because I’ve never seen anything like it,” she explained. “I think of it as Narnia. You come into the wardrobe, into this whole other world, and you leave after four years and it feels like five minutes. Once you go back to the real world, no one really understands your experience. When you see other people who went to Metro, you click because you both understand.”
“A whole different set of people all come together and we get to grow together and apart, in a good way. Everyone has the same experiences, yet their own experiences. The teachers give you everything you need to be who you’ll become. You take it and do with it what you want. Here, you’re totally fine with being who you are.”