The May 2018 student of the month is Kayden Tanner, a junior from Texas who is completing his third year at Alpha Omega Academy. While living near the banks of the Brazos River, which early Spanish explorers named “The River of the Arms of God,” Kayden strives to be the hands of Christ through mentoring and working hard in the classroom.
“He’s an exceptional young man from an exceptional family,” wrote AOA teacher Mary Ellen Quint, who nominated Kayden for this month’s honor, while sharing a short essay he wrote as an example of his positive thinking:
“I am someone who finds joy in the simple things of life. I enjoy the outdoors and God’s creation. I would rather be on the water fishing with my dad than on the computer or on my cellphone. I love to spend time at cattle shows, working alongside friends. The time we spend together is priceless for so many reasons and will have so much more value as I get older and have kids of my own.
“I recently wrote an article for a national cattle magazine about mentoring. I am passionate about using the blessings I have been given to bless other people. I think one of the reasons I enjoy giving back is because our family is so blessed. My mom always taught us that through our blessings, we must be a blessing to others. I like to spend time with other kids at the shows helping them take care of their cattle and teaching them how to be better showmen.”
My AOA Story
I started Alpha Omega Academy my freshman year in 2015. My mother did a lot of research and talked to a lot of parents that have homeschooled their kids. AOA allows me the opportunity to pursue my interests outside school. I do a lot of traveling to show my cattle and for bass fishing tournaments.
Why I Love AOA
The flexibility allows me the ability to learn at my own pace. I also think it is cool that the teachers are so invested in my education, despite the fact we have never met. I love that they check in and share personal stories.
I have one brother. We both have showed livestock together since we were in 3rd grade.
Showing livestock has made a huge impact on my life and taught me discipline, patience, attention to detail, and hard work. Leading up to a cattle show, special care has to be given to the appearance of the animal. Some of the things we do on a daily basis are bathe them, groom their hair, and feed them supplements to enhance their appearance. The hair will be clipped just a few days before each show. We also practice showmanship.
This year I had the Supreme Champion heifer at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. Over the last 2 years, I have been awarded $20,000 in scholarships from this show. This is a show that everyone strives to win because the scholarship money is so big.
My Life Plans
Science is my favorite subject because I want to attend Texas A&M University and pursue a career in veterinary medicine. I also hope to be on the A&M bass fishing team. I want to be an equine veterinarian and work alongside my father in his practice. Being able to learn from one of the best would be a dream job for many aspiring young veterinarians. I am blessed because he happens to be my dad.
My Words of Wisdom
Take the time to enjoy the outside opportunities that homeschooling allows you. The lessons you learn outside school are as important as the ones you learn in the classroom. We are given an incredible opportunity to experience so much more because of the flexibility AOA offers.