Written by Jenna Needham
Pokémon is trending worldwide these days thanks to the emergence of the new mobile game, Pokémon Go. Many teachers are trying to figure out new and exciting ways to incorporate the game into their classes, but Benjamin Magana, a seventh grader at Hoosier Academies, had a love for Pokémon long before it became cool again. Benjamin is a Pokémon national champion.
Benjamin enrolled in Hoosier Academies when he was in first grade. Initially a student at a brick and mortar school, Benjamin tested as a gifted student, and his teachers suggested that he move up a grade level. His parents, however, did not know if that would be the best option for their son. They decided to look into other options and eventually found Hoosier, where he could learn at a pace that is comfortable for him. The flexibility that came with Hoosier was just an added bonus.
“I love the material used in the K12 curriculum,” said Carolyn Magana, Benjamin’s mother and learning coach. “I find that I am learning right along with him. His teachers have been amazing!”
After meeting people throughout the Hoosier community, Benjamin met a parent of another student who headed the Fishers Library Pokémon League. He decided to join the league in second grade and met with them twice a month to develop his Pokémon trainer skills. He began to play with them for fun, but after two years he began to play competitively.
Benjamin and Carolyn have traveled all over Indiana, as well as to Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, and California for his Pokémon competitions. He has competed in the Pokémon National Championships and even the World Championships!
Carolyn notes the importance of the technology and flexibility that Hoosier provides. “People from other states marvel at how Benjamin can so easily travel for Pokémon because of the flexibility of the program,” she said. “It is very difficult for most of them, as they have to miss school. Benjamin never misses school as he simply takes it with him!”
With Hoosier Academies, Benjamin never has to worry about the quality of his education or missing a lesson while he attempts to “catch ‘em all!”