Olympic snowboarder Arielle Gold was the keynote speaker at the in-person graduation ceremony for her alma mater, Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA), on June 1, 2018, at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
A 2014 graduate of CODCA (formerly Insight School of Colorado), Gold recently made her dreams a reality by winning the bronze medal in the women’s halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“I chose Destinations because it allowed me to pursue my dream of being a professional snowboarder without giving up any part of my education—it allowed me to do both,” Gold said. “I lived a pretty nontraditional upbringing, traveling all over the world to compete, so online school enabled me to go to school while snowboarding at a high level.”
Comprised of 47 graduates, CODCA’s Class of 2018 will pursue higher education at institutions spanning the globe. The graduates report that the colleges and universities where they have been accepted include University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Oklahoma State University, Florida State University, University of Tennessee, University of Wyoming, University of Arizona, University of Utah, Pueblo Community College, Front Range Community College and Pickens Tech, as well as the University of Bristol in Bristol, England.
Dakota Smith served as CODCA’s valedictorian. A dual-enrollment and straight-A student, Smith intends to complete her associate degree at Red Rocks Community College, with plans to transfer to Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design to study interior design. CODCA’s salutatorian, Ashton Alston, plans to study graphic design at Pikes Peak Community College.
Graduating seniors Arbra Bailey II, Bryan Velez, and Erin White also spoke during the ceremony. Bailey plans on attending either University of Colorado-Colorado Springs or Colorado Christian University; Velez will enter the Marines to become an infantry soldier; and White, CODCA’s SkillsUSA chapter president, will attend Oklahoma City University to pursue a career in dance. Other speakers included Darren Reed, K12’s vice president of student services, and Tersh Jones, a CODCA social studies teacher.
CODCA is the only online state-approved Career Technical Education (CTE) program in Colorado. The school offers CTE courses in the diverse fields of agriculture, business management and administration, health science, information technology, and marketing, exposing students to a plethora of future career opportunities. Through CODCA, students in grades 9-12 can prepare to earn technical credentials and may earn college credits and gain workplace experience while still in high school. Other unique learning opportunities include interview preparation, team collaboration and effective communication—imperative skills for entering college or the workforce. In addition, many students participate in various career technical student organizations.
Congratulations and best of luck to CODCA’s Class of 2018!
Alumna Arielle Gold addressing the CODCA Class of 2018.